White House, EPA Honor Environmental Educators and Student Award Winners

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August 16, 2016

Melinda Lilly of The Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) presented ACE's award-winning cliamte science assembly at the White House today as part of a ceremony to honor the winners of the President's Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) and the winners of the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE).

ACE has delivered its assembly to over 2 million students since 2009. A study of the ACE Assembly by Stanford, Yale, and George Mason University was published in the journal Climatic Change and showed that viewing the ACE Assembly leads to:

  • 27% increase in climate science knowledge
  • 43% increase in students who are concerned or alarmed about climate change
  • 59% of students increasing their intentions to take action
  • 60% of students increasing their intention to get friends and family to take action
  • The number of students talking to parents and peers about climate change more than doubling

ACE is proud to be part of this event celebrating contributions to environmental education. You can read the EPA's press release about the event below.

White House, EPA Honor Environmental Educators and Student Award Winners


Contact Information:
Christie St. Clair (stclair.christie@epa.gov)
(202) 564-2880

WASHINGTON – 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: