November 3, 2023

3 Min Read
EPA Seeks Applications for 2024 President’s Environmental Student and Teacher Awards
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WASHINGTON — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan recently announced that EPA’s Office of Environmental Education is requesting applications for the 2024 President’s Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA) and Presidential Innovation Awards for Environmental Educators (PIAEE). The 1990 National Environmental Education Act established PEYA, which recognizes outstanding environmental stewardship projects from students in Grades K–12 that promote environmental awareness and encourage community involvement. The act also established PIAEE, which recognizes outstanding Grade K–12 educators who integrate environmental education and place-based learning into school curricula and school facility management across the country.

“Environmental education is the foundation of a meaningful climate movement, and I’m thrilled to recognize the students and educators who do this important work,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “We hope that by honoring these dedicated leaders, we encourage them to expand their efforts beyond the classroom and continue to inspire critical environmental action in their communities.”

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), in partnership with EPA, administers the PIAEE awards program.

“Across the country, young people are channeling their energy, curiosity and creativity into tackling our nation's most pressing climate and environmental challenges,” said White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory. “The Presidential awards celebrate the work of these young environmental stewards and the educators who help them learn ways to build a better future for generations to come – a future where every community has access to clean drinking water, clean air, and green space.”

Applications for both awards are due no later than Monday, January 15, 2024. Projects eligible for the awards can apply to a variety of environmental topics, including (but not limited to):

  • Climate change

  • Environmental justice

  • Water infrastructure

  • Lead in drinking water

  • A reduction in contributions to ocean and marine litter

  • Recycling solutions

  • The use of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to teach environmental education

  • Environmental sustainability and agricultural practices

  • Healthy school environments

  • The reduction of food waste and loss and excess food recovery efforts.

Additional Information on the 2024 Awards

For PEYA, EPA will select up to two winners in each of the agency’s 10 regions: one regional winner for Grades K-5 and one regional winner for Grades 6–12. Winning projects will be highlighted on EPA’s website. All student projects must be sponsored by at least one adult over the age of 21. If the sponsor is not a teacher, the project must have a teacher as a co-sponsor. Application and eligibility information is available on EPA’s PEYA page.

For PIAEE, up to two teachers from each of EPA’s 10 regions, each from different states, will be selected to receive the award. Teachers will receive a presidential plaque and an award of up to $2,500 to be used to further professional development in environmental education. The winners’ local education agencies will also receive awards of up to $2,500 to fund environmental educational activities and programs. Winners will be highlighted on EPA’s website. Application and eligibility information is available on EPA’s PIAEE page.

For more information on the youth awards (PEYA), please email [email protected]. For more information on the teacher awards (PIAEE), please email [email protected].

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