News Releases from Region 04
EPA Honors Georgia Environmental Educators and Students
Atlanta (Aug. 28, 2017) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pleased to announce Lee County Middle School West (LCMSW) teacher Brian Soash of Leesburg, GA is the winner of the Southeast region Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE). Honorable mention honors in the Southeast region goes to Annette Simpson, a teacher at Keheley Elementary School in Marietta, Georgia.
President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA), at a series of events in Washington, D.C. today. From across the country, 12 educators and 81 students are being recognized for their exceptional contributions to environmental education and stewardship.EPA will honor him along with other outstanding educators and winners of the
Today’s events feature speakers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Toyota’s North American Environmental Sustainability Programs and the North American Association for Environmental Educators.
“Through their work, these impressive educators and students demonstrate how community partnerships — between schools, business and government — can build and sustain environmental change,” said 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. Winning teachers led unique projects such as Student Watershed Awareness Taskforce, a school farmers’ market and food sharing program, interactive blogs for students to connect with scientists and other professionals, campus-wide recycling programs, and outdoor learning areas.
Students in Mr. Soash’s science class at LCMSW are encourage to learn by doing. The 2016 Georgia Middle School STEM Teacher of the Year has motivated them to create zoo exhibits, run mock Species Survival Plan meetings, hold a school-wide campaign and election for the most important organelle, design apps for the Georgia State Health Department, and take science courses of their own choosing. He has implemented project-based learning using real-world issues to examine. Students have learned about genetics and conservation through a real-world study of red wolves thanks to a partnership he developed with the Chehaw Zoo. Sixth-grade students participate in a “Flintration” project to learn how to evaluate the health of the Flint River and its inhabitants and how the water is impacted by point and nonpoint source pollution. Brian has presented his project-based learning curriculum at the National Science Teachers Association conferences, National Council of English Teacher national conference, Bowling Green University STEM Symposium, North Carolina Science Teachers Association, Georgia Science Teachers Association, among many others.
The PEYA awards recognize outstanding environmental stewardship projects by K-12 youth. The 15 winning student projects, announced in June 2017, featured activities such as developing low-cost biodegradable plastic using pumpkins; designing an efficient, environmentally-friendly mosquito trap; and collecting and repurposing more than 25,000 books in six months.
For details on the 2017 PIAEE winners, visit http://www2.epa.gov/education/presidential-innovation-award-environmental-educators-piaee-winners.
For details on the 2017 PEYA winners, visit http://www2.epa.gov/education/presidents-environmental-youth-award-peya-winners.
For information on environmental education at EPA, visit https://www.epa.gov/education.