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EPA honors Chicago area teacher for environmental education

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Josh Singer (

CHICAGO (Aug. 31, 2017) –The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has honored a Chicago area teacher for her exceptional contributions to environmental education and stewardship.

Amy Schwartz, a science teacher at Edison Middle School in Wheaton, was a 2017 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) honorable mention recipient. Ms. Schwartz coordinated a project in which student, faculty, parents and Wheaton Park District staff worked together to transform an area behind the Edison Middle School into a native tallgrass prairie. Students complemented this hands-on project with a field trip to Fermilab, a physics laboratory, to learn more about energy and ecosystems.

“Through their work, these impressive educators demonstrate how community partnerships — between schools, business and government — can build and sustain environmental change,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Together, EPA and our partners are working to improve environmental literacy across the nation.”

The PIAEE awards recognize innovative educators who bring environmental education into their classrooms through hands-on, experiential approaches.

For details on the 2017 PIAEE winners, visit

For information on environmental education at EPA, visit