We’re Sensing a Change in Water Monitoring: Introducing the Arsenic Sensor Prize Competition

Read the full post from U.S. EPA.

Interested in helping protect our nation’s drinking water? EPA and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) are joining forces to launch the Arsenic Sensor Prize Competition for the development of new technology to detect arsenic in water…

The first phase of the Arsenic Sensor Prize Competition is scheduled to be launched in fall 2016. Entries will be judged and cash prizes will be awarded to winners. If you are interested in receiving notifications about the Arsenic Sensor Prize Competition, email PRIZE@usbr.gov with “Arsenic Sensor Prize Competition” in the subject line to join the email list. The official prize competition announcement will be posted on Challenge.gov.

Engineering Students and Alumni Recognized for Distinguished Achievement in Helping Businesses Save Energy and Money

Read the full story from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Have you ever wondered how American small manufacturers stay competitive in today’s global economy? Maybe not, but since 1976 the US Department of Energy has been supporting teams of experts who each day develop the resources needed and provide engineering technical support to these businesses. These teams provide recommendations to help manufacturers operate at the highest level of energy efficiency and productivity.

These experts are members of the Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) program that is administered through the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) under the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the Department of Energy. Led by engineering faculty, students at the selected IACs perform on-site assessments at small- and medium-sized manufacturing business partners, and have directly assisted more than 17,000 businesses, saving 6.1M metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and 481 MBtu saved in energy consumption.

Recently AMO announced this year’s recipients of the third annual IAC Outstanding Student and Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes students and alumni who have made a significant impact through their work in energy efficiency and outstanding accomplishments in promoting the practices and principles of energy engineering. Nominations were submitted for students and alumni. Though recognized for different achievements, one characteristic all awardees share is an exceptional ability as engineers and having advanced energy efficiency in the often hard to engage small and medium-sized manufacturing community.

White House, EPA Honor Environmental Educators and Student Award Winners

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House Council on Environmental Quality, recognized 18 teachers and 63 students from across the country for their outstanding contributions to environmental education and stewardship.  These 2015 winners and honorable mentions for the annual President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) and 2015/2016 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) were honored for their work at a ceremony today at the White House. The event included remarks from Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator; Dr. John Holdren, President Obama’s Chief Senior Advisor; and John King, Secretary of Education.

“These teacher and student winners are exemplary leaders, committed to strong environmental conservation and tackling problems including landfill waste and climate change head on,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Environmental education cultivates our next generation of leaders by teaching them how to apply skills in creativity and innovation. I have no doubt that teachers and students like these will someday solve some of our most complex and important issues.”

The PIAEE awards recognize innovative environmental educators who integrate environmental learning into their classrooms using hands-on, experiential approaches. Winning teachers led unique programs such as working with a local symphony orchestra to create music inspired by nature, raising horseshoe crabs, researching the impact of surface coal mining on salamander diversity, forming a job shadowing program, and starting an international collaboration with a school in Taiwan.

The PEYA awards recognize outstanding environmental stewardship projects by K-12 youth. Student projects featured activities such as creating a new eco-friendly fertilizer, restoring and conserving local habitats, promoting recycling and other waste reduction methods, analyzing the impact of solar panel installation, exploring a new water pollution mitigation method, and analyzing storm water flow and flood risk.

For information on environmental education at EPA, visit:

For details on the new PIAEE winners, visit:

For details on the new PEYA winners, visit:

Illinois Water Resources Center sponsors “Water Is” photo contest

The Illinois Water Resources Center invites photographers to enter the second annual “Water Is” photo contest. Photos should be taken in Illinois and capture what water means to you and your community. First-place winners will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. Email your submissions to Anjanette Riley at aeriley@illinois.edu by Sept. 15.

Gizmo Attaches To Garbage Disposals, Turns Food Waste Into Compost

Read the full story from the Huffington Post.

A tiny tweak can have a huge impact.

Six students at Rice University have created a motor-operated device that attaches to your food disposal and turns food waste into compost, which can be used as nutrient-rich soil.

The mechanical gadget, called BioBlend, is activated whenever someone turns on a food disposal. BioBlend then separates food waste by chopping it up and straining out water.

The water is then sent to a municipal wastewater treatment, while the food waste is stored under your sink until it can be composted — or used for biogas generation, which uses waste to generate gas for cooking.

These 4 Games Will Teach Kids How We Can Tackle Climate Change

Read the full story in Fast Company.

For both kids and adults, games are sometimes a great way to learn about social issues and brainstorm creative solutions. The nonprofit Games for Change has worked on this idea for more than a decade, and at its upcoming annual festival in New York, it will present four new games that tackle the most pressing challenge for humanity: climate change.

Practice Greenhealth announces Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award winners

Read the full story from Becker’s Hospital Review.

Practice Greenhealth has recognized more than 500 hospitals and health systems for their outstanding environmental achievements, including 25 organizations that received Practice Greenhealth’s 2016 Environmental Excellence Award.