EPA Calls for Nominations for the 2021 President’s Environmental Student and Teacher Awards

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced that EPA’s Office of Environmental Education is now accepting applications for the 2021 President’s Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA) and Presidential Innovation Awards for Environmental Educators (PIAEE).

“Environmental education is paramount to providing students with the skills and tools they need to be the next generation of Americans caring for our nation’s air, water and land,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Success in the environmental education program hinges on teachers’ ability to employ modern approaches to this important field of study. EPA remains committed to supporting America’s teachers and students to promote environmental stewardship – both now and in the future.”

Established by the 1990 National Environmental Education Act, PEYA recognizes outstanding environmental stewardship projects from Kindergarten through 12th grade 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 2020 Awards

EPA is seeking 2020 PEYA and PIAEE award applications for projects on a variety of environmental topics, including (but not limited to): 

  • Reducing food waste and loss and excess food recovery efforts.
  • Reducing contributions to ocean and marine litter.
  • Solutions in recycling.
  • Using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to teach environmental education.
  • Environmental sustainability.
  • Sustainable agricultural practices.
  • Healthy school environments.

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.

Applications for both awards programs are due no later than February 19, 2021.

For more information on the youth awards (PEYA), please contact: PEYA@epa.gov.

For more information on the teacher awards (PIAEE), please contact: PIAEE@epa.gov.

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