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EPA Celebrates Earth Day and Environmental Education: Frisco, Texas, Student Wins President’s Environmental Youth Award

04/22/2020
Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant (R6Press@epa.gov)
214 665-2200

DALLAS – (April 22, 2020) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), is pleased to announce the recipients of the  President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA). Among the winners is 10-year-old Prince Nallamothula of Frisco, Texas, who developed a mobile app to raise awareness of recycling in his community.

“As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, we are also celebrating nearly 50 years of environmental education that fosters awareness about conservation issues, and helps communities make informed, responsible decisions about their environment,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “We are also honoring dedicated educators who spark enthusiasm in our youth to develop a love and respect for the environment and find solutions for issues that impact our air, water and land.”

“Students like Prince give us all an example to live up to—if you find a problem, become part of the solution,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “Thank you, Prince, for putting science into action to help our environment. There is no better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.”

Prince surveyed his community and found that less than a third of respondents recycled their household waste, and over two-thirds were confused about what can be recycled. To help make recycling easier in hopes of increasing participation, Prince developed the “3RApp,” named for the concept of “reduce, reuse, recycle.” With the app, users can scan a product’s QR or bar code to learn its recyclability as well as suggestions on how to reuse the item. The app can also be linked to smart devices like trash cans to open the right compartment based on recyclability of the item.

From across the country, 10 educators and 35 students are being recognized for their leadership and commitment to environmental education and environmental stewardship. This year, seven educators will receive the 2020 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators, and three educators will be recognized with an honorable mention distinction. Winning educators demonstrated leadership by integrating environmental education into multiple subjects and using topics such as healthy school environments, environmentally friendly agricultural practices, reducing ocean litter, gardening, recycling, or STEM to teach sustainability to K-12 students.

Additionally, 35 students who worked as a team or individually on 13 projects will receive the President’s Environmental Youth Award. Their stewardship projects, conducted in 2019, display a commitment to learning, to protecting natural resources, and to engaging their communities in environmental protection.

Background

Since the establishment of the original Environmental Education Act of 1970, The President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) Program has recognized outstanding community-level environmental projects by K-12 youth for almost 50 years. Today, as part of the National Environmental Education Act of 1990, PEYA continues to promote awareness of natural resources and encourages positive community involvement.  Each year, PEYA honors a wide-variety of local-level projects developed by students, school classes, summer camp attendees and youth organizations to promote engagement in environmental stewardship and protection. Students in all 50 states and U.S. territories are invited to participate in the program.

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