Thursday, August 31, 2017

Delco Brothers, Philadelphia School Teacher Honored By EPA In Presidential Environmental Ed Awards Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Monday honored winners of the Presidential Innovation Award For Environmental Educators and the President’s Environmental Youth Award Program during events in Washington, D.C.
Presidential Youth Awards
Devin and Roldan Kramer from Ardmore, Delaware/ Montgomery counties will receive the 2016 President’s Environmental Youth Award for grade levels K-5 for their work to save frogs and toads.
The national award is presented each year to exceptional students who demonstrate creativity, innovation, and leadership to address difficult environmental challenges.
“Today, we are pleased to honor these impressive young leaders, who demonstrate the impact that a few individuals can make to protect our environment,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These students are empowering their peers, educating their communities, and demonstrating the STEM skills needed for this country to thrive in the global economy.”
The brothers’ interest in the topic was sparked by discussions about the number of mosquitos in their area, and the decline of predators like bats, frogs and toads, which feed on mosquitos.
The brothers learned that each April, the swimming pool at their local park drains the water and ends up killing tadpoles living in the pool before they can mature.
To increase the population of native frogs and toads, Devin and Roldan took approximately 2,000 tadpoles from the pool in April and raised them to the frog and toad stage in an aquarium system and collected fruit flies from a compost bin to feed them.
Over the course of their project, the brothers observed their aquarium closely, protected the tadpoles from predators, and transferred the tadpoles to a larger aquarium as they grew legs.
As a result of their project, Devin and Roldan have observed not only an increase in frog and toad populations, but improvement in the overall ecosystem, with a decrease in the number of mosquitoes, and a growing number of native animals, such as snakes, fish, and birds.
Environmental Educators
PIAEE honorable mention was awarded to Joseph Bentz, a middle school teacher at Albert M. Greenfield Elementary in Philadelphia.  
Bentz was recognized for his teaching that extends beyond his Greenfield students to families, community members and other teachers in the Philadelphia School District.  
He reaches out to students, parents and residents to discuss environmental issues and green solutions to topics such as stormwater management for their inner city neighborhood.
(Photo: Joseph Bentz, EPA Deputy Administrator Mike Flynn; Devin and Roldan Kramer and their father Kenneth Kramer with Flynn.)

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