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EPA Calls for Applications for the 2023 President’s Environmental Student and Teacher Awards

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WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan announced that EPA’s Office of Environmental Education is now accepting applications for the 2023 President’s Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA) and Presidential Innovation Awards for Environmental Educators (PIAEE).

“Students, educators, and young people have contributed so much to EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. Today I am encouraging students and teachers who are working on important issues from climate change to environmental justice and more to apply for the President’s Environmental Youth Awards and Presidential Innovation Awards for Environmental Educators,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “I’m looking forward to honoring teachers and students that are working hard to advance environmental education.”

“From cleaning up ocean pollution to expanding access to clean drinking water, America’s young people are making hugely consequential strides in addressing our nation’s biggest environmental challenges,” said Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory. “These Presidential awards are an opportunity to recognize the work of students and educators who are boldly taking on environmental stewardship projects and building healthier, safer communities across the country.”

Applications for both awards programs are due no later than January 11, 2023.

Established by the 1990 National Environmental Education Act, PEYA recognizes outstanding environmental stewardship projects from students in grades K-12, by promoting environmental awareness and encouraging community involvement. Also established by the 1990 National Environmental Education Act, PIAEE recognizes outstanding K-12 grade educators who integrate environmental, place-based experiential learning into school curricula and school facility management across the country. The White House Council on Environmental Quality, in partnership with EPA, administers the PIAEE awards program.

Additional Information on the 2023 Awards

EPA is seeking 2023 PEYA and PIAEE award applications for projects on a variety of environmental topics, including (but not limited to):

  • Climate change;
  • Environmental justice;
  • Water infrastructure;
  • Lead in drinking water;
  • Reducing contributions to ocean and marine litter;
  • Solutions in recycling;
  • Using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to teach environmental education;
  • Environmental sustainability and agricultural practices;
  • Healthy school environments; and
  • Reducing food waste and loss and excess food recovery efforts.

For the PEYA awards, EPA will select up to two winners in each of the agency’s 10 Regions – one regional winner for grades K-5 and one regional winner for grades 6-12. The winning projects will be highlighted on EPA’s website. All student projects must be sponsored by at least one adult over the age of 21 and, if the sponsor is not a teacher, the project must have a teacher as a co-sponsor. The application and eligibility information are available on EPA’s PEYA page.

Up to two teachers from each of EPA’s 10 regions, from different states, will be selected to receive the PIAEE award. Teachers will receive a presidential plaque and an award of up to $2,500 to be used to further professional development in environmental education. Winning teachers’ local education agencies will also receive awards of up to $2,500 to fund environmental educational activities and programs. Next year’s winners will be highlighted on EPA’s website. The application and eligibility information are available on EPA’s PIAEE page.

For more information on the youth awards (PEYA), please contact: [email protected].

For more information on the teacher awards (PIAEE), please contact: [email protected].

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Author: Office of the Administrator (AO)

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