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Howard County teacher wins regional environmental education award

04/29/2020
Contact Information: 
US EPA Region 3 press office (R3press@epa.gov)

PHILADELPHIA (April 29, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that science teacher Ann Strozyk from the Howard County Public School District in Maryland is a 2019 winner of a Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE).

Strozyk, one of seven award recipients nationwide, received the award for creating a Watershed Report Card program that is used by high school students throughout Howard County.

“We are very honored to have teachers like Ms. Strozyk who take initiatives to educate students about the importance of environmental protection,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “Ms. Strozyk established a county-wide project that provides students valuable on-hands experience and motivates them to get involved in environmental issues.”

Under the program, all ninth-grade earth science and biology students in the county visit local streams to study plant and animal life, and assist in collecting watershed health data on chemicals, such as dissolved oxygen, pH, nitrate, and phosphate.

In addition to the field experience, Strozyk has included an advocacy component to classrooms. She teaches students how to advocate for change and provides them with an opportunity to present findings and suggestions to elected officials at the Howard County Watershed Summit.

She also helps each school implement an action project that focuses on protecting the Chesapeake Bay watershed. She knows that teachers’ time and resources are stretched thin, so she works hard to help teachers and students carry out their action projects.

Background

Established by the 1990 National Environmental Education Act, the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators seeks to recognize, support, and bring public attention to the outstanding environmental projects performed by innovative teachers who go beyond textbook instruction to incorporate methods and materials that utilize creative experiences and enrich student learning. The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), in partnership with EPA, administers this award to encourage and nationally honor outstanding elementary and secondary (K-12) education teachers who integrate environmental and place-based, experiential learning into school curricula. The program provides funding to help support educator awardee schools in their environmental education work and provides funding for the teacher’s professional development.

View PIAEE winners here: https://www.epa.gov/education/presidential-innovation-award-environmental-educators-piaee-winners

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EPA Mid-Atlantic Region’s mission is to protect human health and the environment for Delaware, District of Columbia Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and seven federally recognized tribes.  Meeting the diverse environmental challenges of a Region with the nation’s largest estuary, rural expanses and major cities and agricultural centers, EPA Mid-Atlantic’s successes are shouldered by the dedication and talents of its employees and the strong relationships it has fostered with partners in its states and communities.  For more information, visit: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-02/documents/r3_digital-final-mid-atlantic-yir-report-2019.pdf

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