September 2014 News

In This Issue
New Green Schools Website
Eric Magers Receives Honorable Mention
EPA Clean Air Excellence Awards
Bonneville Environmental Foundation Hiring
Green Apple Day of Service
Green Schools Presenting at Better Together Summit
Sustainable Kids
EECapcacity Community Climate Change
NSTA Awards and Recognitions
Take a Second Youth Energy Video Contest
International Walk to School Day
Teen Invents Device
Greenest College Campus
Natural-terrain Schoolyards
Teen Discovers Way to Clean the World's Pollution
Richard C. Bartlett EE Award
Princeton Review
Green Strides Webinar
Save the Date
Grant Opportunities

Interact With Green Schools!


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Welcome Back to School with Green Schools! 

Green Schools is thrilled to announce the launch of National Green Schools Society, a structured chapter-based program for high-achieving, environmentally focused students to create extraordinary impact in schools, organizations, and communities while getting the recognition they deserve on a state and national level. We're not an honor society - and that is intentional - but NGSS will work in much the same manner by providing schools and students with an environmentally focused national recognition program that is based on environmental service hours instead of academic achievement.


We are launching four new programs:

  • NGSS is for high school students in grades 9-12. At the high school level, students NGSS members must earn service hours in environmental service, environmental education, project-based learning (such as a senior project), and through an internship or work with a community partner. Seniors can graduate with distinction from NGSS based on completion of 100/150/200 hours.
  • NGSS - Junior is for students in grades 6-8. Junior chapters work as a team or individually on projects. Members pledge 20 hours of environmental service to their school and community, and are encouraged to do more hours if they work on multiple projects. Chapter members receive certificates for service with special recognition for members in 8th grade.
  • NGSS - Elementary is for students in grades 2-5. Grades 2-4 are encouraged to work together as a group on environmental service projects, such as recycling or composting or planning and planting a school garden. Grades 2-4 chapter members receive individual certificates and the elementary school receives recognition for its contributions. NGSS has specific Grade 5 recognition awards and recognitions.
  • NGSS - Virtual is for independent, home-schooled, or non-traditional students in grades 5-12. NGSS - Virtual members work independently on projects in their communities or schools and are guided in their work by an advisor from NGSS national. Virtual members receive individual recognition for their work.

Each NGSS chapter needs students, an advisor, and support from school or organization administration. More than likely you already have the internal structure in place to add NGSS as a student club. Get started today:

  • Your school or organization establishes a NGSS chapter.
  • Students are inducted as members and leaders are elected.
  • Each student or the group selects an environmental service project or multiple projects for the year.
  • Your chapter submits project ideas and monthly chapter updates on progress to NGSS national.
  • Your chapter and students apply for student recognition and awards on the local, state, and national level through NGSS national.

Quick facts

  • NGSS chapter fee is $85/year
  • Student member dues are $15/year
  • Virtual student dues are $35/year
  • Students at the high school level who are considered for induction must meet the service hour requirements set by the school: Level 1 is 20 hours; Level 2 is 35 hours; Level 3 is 40 hours.
  • Six student minimum to start a chapter
  • Graduates can qualify for NGSS honor stoles and certificates with the appropriate documentation and completion of service hours identified by the school: Level 1 is 100 hours; Level 2 is 150 hours; Level 3 is 200 hours.

For more information about NGSS, contact:
Maureen Aylward
Director of Students and Schools


Coming soon! New Green Schools Website

The new Green Schools and National Green Schools Society website is nearly finished!Our improved website is easy to navigate and has all the important information you need to learn more about National Green Schools Society. You'll be able to complete forms and documents online, pay online for chapter fees and student dues, as well as read two new blogs: Green Schools in Action and Green Student Blog. It will be live by the end of September, so please check in and check it out!


Eric Magers Receives Honorable Mention for Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educator

Congratulations to Green Schools Friend and Partner, Teacher Eric Magers of Manchester Essex Regional High School, for receiving an Honorable Mention for the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educator! 



 Pictured: [Left] Green Schools Executive Director Robin Organ and PIAEE Award Winner, Teacher Eric Magers of Manchester Essex Regional High School at the White House during Awards Ceremony, [Right} Eric Magers with U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy



Posted August 12, 2014

The White House Council on Environmental Quality, in conjunction with the EPA, announced the winners of the annual Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) and President's Environmental Youth Award, (PEYA) recognizing outstanding student leaders in environmental stewardship and K-12 teachers employing innovative approaches to environmental education in their schools. In a ceremony at the White House, 17 teachers and 60 students from across the nation are being honored for their contributions to environmental education and stewardship.


"These awards recognize the outstanding contributions of student leaders and exceptional teachers on some of the most pressing issues facing our nation, including combating climate change and instituting sustainability practices," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "Environmental education encourages academic achievement, especially in the sciences, and develops the next generation of leaders in environmental stewardship."


Read More


 Watch White House Award Ceremony with Youth and Environmental Educators


EPA Clean Air Excellence Awards - Deadline September 12, 2014


Congratulations to all the winners of the 2014 Clean Air Excellence Awards (Pictured Left) 


The Clean Air Excellence Awards Program, established at the recommendation of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, periodically recognizes and honors outstanding innovative efforts to help make progress in achieving cleaner air.



Award-winning entries must directly or indirectly reduce pollutant emissions, demonstrate innovation, offer sustainable outcomes, and provide a model for others to follow.


Click for entry details and more 


Bonneville Environmental Foundation Solar 4R Schools Hiring


Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) Solar 4R Schools program is looking for an experienced trainer and program manager for our STEM renewable energy teacher professional development program. Visit the website for job description, requirements, and application instructions:


Closes 9/12/14. 


Green Apple Day of Service 2014


The 2014 Green Apple Day of Service will take place on Sept. 27, 2014


On Sept. 28, 2013, more than 2,090 service projects took place in over 40 countries on every continent around the world to make our schools healthier, more sustainable places to learn. Start planning now for this year's Day of Service!



How will you take part in Green Apple Day of Service in 2014? Find great ideas and get your project on the map! Visit to pledge your support, share your commitment, check out project ideas, pick up helpful resources, and more! 




Green Schools Presenting at Better Together Summit


Green Schools is presenting at Better Together Summit on "Developing Middle and High School Student Leaders through National Green Schools Society" 


Supported by U.S. EPA, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, NAAEE, NEEF, Green School National Network, and countless others, National Green Schools Society is the perfect recipe for developing and graduating the next generation and the NOW generation of environmental stewards. 

Join Us! October 24-26, 2014 
Pineland Farms
New Gloucester, Maine

The Better Together Summit

Together we will inform, inspire and foster innovative collaborations among organizations and leaders from many different sectors and endeavors. Do you work forenvironmental literacy? Science education? Land conservation? Community food security? Outdoor recreation? Environmental justice? Resilient communities? Do you seek to enhance the relationships among people, nature and communities? Our work may not look the same, but you know we are all inherently interconnected. Your participation will help making us better together.


Learn More 


Sustainable Kids - Progressive Apparel for Progressive Schools


SUSTAINABLE KIDS partners with campuses nationwide in greening up their spirit wear, fundraising apparel and uniform needs. All of their products are Made-in-the-USA, eco-certified and promote responsible consumerism. Your school can look forward to affordable, high-quality styles in a vibrant selection of over 30 certified colors. SK styles include sizes for everybody - from toddlers, to youth sizes, to a full adult size range.


No time to figure out logo products for your organization? SK takes the hassle out of placing bulk orders. View our easy 1-2-3 program and best-practices.


See the complete collection online, get ideas for using the SK program and get answers to your FAQ's. 





Visit SK:






EECapacity Community Climate Changes Fellows to Implement Innovative Programs


EECapacity, the National Environmental Education Training Program led by Cornell University, in cooperation with the U.S. EPA and a consortium of partners including the North American Association for Environmental Education and Environmental Education Exchange, announced the recipients of a pilot Community Climate Change Fellowship. The fellowship program was designed to address the importance of climate change education and engagement at the grassroots, community level.


Twenty-six fellows from a diverse set of communities across the U.S., Canada and Mexico were selected based on key criteria including experience in environmental education and community development as well as ideas for innovative climate change solutions. Projects range from a Climate Change 101 course for college-aged students in Frankfort, KY to an education program focused on how to grow food in hotter, drier land in Albuquerque, NM. 


Visit for a complete list of fellows and projects


NSTA Awards and Recognitions



The 2015 award applications are open for submission. November 30, 2014 deadline

You can't win if you don't apply! You may apply for more than one award; however, each application must be based on a unique program and process and you will be eligible to win only one NSTA award per year.

Click for a list of Awards and Recognitions and download an application



NSTA is offering two free web seminars this fall to help you through the application process.

  • On October 8, learn how you can win up to $10,000 for your outstanding work as a science educator. The program will feature Karen Nesbit, chairperson of the Teacher Awards and Recognition Committee, who will discuss the application process for 2014-2015, share insight into completing your application, and provide tips for strengthening your submission for a chance to win prize money, materials, and equipment for your classroom.
  • On October 15, learn strategies for preparing a standout submission for the Shell Science Teaching Award.


Take a Second Youth Energy Video Contest



This week the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), with support from ENERGY STAR and EPA's Office of Environmental Education, launched a "Take A Second" video contest encouraging youth to submit videos via Instagram showing how they taking a second for the environment by saving energy. Video submissions will be accepted until October 3, 2014 and the winner will be announced by NEEF on October 28, 2014 (Energy Star Day) . You can learn more about the contest at 


Celebrate International Walk to School Day



 Celebrate International Walk to School Day on October 8!


 Register and Learn More


Brilliant Teen Invents Device That Produces Clean Energy AND Fresh Water! 

by Timon Singh, 08/16/14 


Google has announced the finalists of this year's Google Science Fair and the line-up is impressive. But among the 15 inventions designed to make the world a better place, Cynthia Sin Nga Lam's submission is definitely a major standout. Concerned about the millions of people living without energy and water, the 17-year-old student scientist from Australia built H2Pro - a Portable Photocatalytic Electricity Generation and Water Purification Unit that produces both clean energy and fresh water at the same time.

Read More


Which is the Greenest College Campus in Your State?





There are numerous ways to judge how "green" a school is, including a close look at college campuses. eCollegeFinder has created a map illustrating the greenest college campuses in each state, as judged by College Prowler.


See if your school made the list 

Natural-terrain Schoolyards Reduce Children's Stress

Playing in schoolyards that feature natural habitats and trees and not just asphalt and recreation equipment reduces children's stress and inattention, according to a University of Colorado Boulder study.


Working on class assignments or gardening in such settings also provide stress-reducing benefits for youth, according to a paper published in the journal Health & Place. The study is one of the first of its kind to focus on the relationship between student access to green settings and stress.


"Many schools already offer stress management programs, but they're about teaching individuals how to deal with stress instead of creating stress-reducing environments," said Louise Chawla, CU-Boulder professor of environmental design and lead author of the study. "Schools are where children spend a major part of their life hours, so it's an important place to look at for integrating daily contact with the natural world because of the many benefits it brings."


Read full article


Image: During recess in a natural-habitat setting, children engage in sensory exploration and discovery.

(Photo by Emily Stanley) 


16-Year-Old Discovers Way to Clean the World's Pollution with Sunscreen and Pencils

by Beverley Mitchell, 08/16/14 


16-year-old Samuel Burrow has found a way to scrub the world clean of toxic pollution using materials found in sunscreen and pencils! The teenager developed a white, smog-busting mixture of titanium dioxide and graphene oxide that can be applied to internal and external surfaces like paint. His solution is strong, efficient, and cheap - and it uses simple ingredients commonly found in everyday products....


Read more

Richard C. Bartlett Environmental Education 2014 Award Winner


The Richard C. Bartlett Award, established by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) and supported by The Bartlett Foundation, was created to distinguish teachers who best represent Richard C. Bartlett's passion for and leadership in environmental education. Richard Bartlett (1935-2011) believed that the role of teachers in integrating environmental education is critical to preserving the natural world for future generations. His commitment to conservation and environmental education spanned over four decades and inspired environmental educators nationwide. Bartlett Award winners are selected by a distinguished national panel of NEEF judges based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrating creative, replicable approaches to environmental education
  • Adopting an interdisciplinary or systems thinking approach to integrating environmental education across subject areas
  • Engaging others, such as fellow teachers, administrators and community members in their environmental education efforts
  • Increasing student achievement within and beyond the classroom

Richard C. Bartlett Environmental Education Award Winner:

Laura Wilbanks: Whiteface Elementary School, Whiteface, TX


Using the environment as a platform to excite the minds and hearts of children and youth is Laura Wilbanks' passion in education.... Laura's environmental education program, called Science Rocks U, asks students to identify environmental community problems and then solve those issues using science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The effectiveness of the program can clearly be seen in the impressive number of Science Rocks U students Laura has led to win state and national competitions.  

Read More about Laura Wilbanks and see the 2014 Merit Winners
Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges

The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) have teamed up yet
again to release the fifth annual edition of the unique, free guidebook saluting the nation's most environmentally responsible green colleges.


The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition profiles 332 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada that demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. This book is the only free, comprehensive, annually updated guide to green colleges. 


The Guide provides college applicants with: 

  • School profiles with application, admission, financial aid and student enrollment information
  • "Green Highlights" - write-ups detailing each school's most impressive environmental and sustainability initiatives
  • "Green Facts" sidebars reporting statistics and facts on everything from the school's use of renewable energy sources, recycling and conservation programs to the availability of environmental studies programs, and green jobs career guidance
  • A glossary of 40+ green terms and acronyms from AASHE to "zero waste"
  • Lists identifying schools in the book with various green distinctions - among them: those with LEED-certified buildings and those that are signatories of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment   
The Green Strides Webinar Series and School Resources


The Green Strides Webinar Series provides school communities the tools to reduce their schools' environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach effective environmental education. It provides all schools access to the resources that help them move toward the Pillars of our U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award.



Sign up for Green Strides Webinar Series email updates to receive information on future webinars. All times are given as Eastern Standard. View archived webinars here.



The U.S. Department of Education has also created a resource page Green Strides: Environment, Health and Facilities at ED to help schools, teachers, parents and students. 


Save the Date! 



Grant Opportunities
ClimateChangeLIVE Grants for School Projects: Deadline: September 30, 2014

Would you like your class to be part of the climate solution and do you have an idea for a school project that can help address climate change? Do you want to start a project that reduces your carbon footprint and/or educates other students or the community about climate change? Want to start a recycling program or energy and water conservation project for your students? Need funds to implement your project? Apply for a Project Learning Tree GreenWorks! grant!


Click for more information and an application for the Project Learning Tree/US Forest Service GreenWorks! ClimateChangeLIVE grants up to $1,000 are available at



Project Learning Tree GreenWorks! Grants: Deadline: September 30, 2014

Project Learning Tree� (PLT), an award-winning national environmental education program for educators and students in grades PreK-12, has GreenWorks! grants of up to $2,000 available to schools and youth organizations for environmental service-learning projects. Students "learn by doing" through community action projects they design and implement to improve an aspect of their school or neighborhood's environment. These environmental action projects blend community service with academic curriculum to link classroom learning to the real world. Since 1992, PLT has helped fund more than 1,000 GreenWorks! projects across the country. From North Pole, Alaska to Key West, Florida, students have planted trees, restored habitats, improved streams, constructed trails, and more. PLT also provides grants to schools to implement recycling programs, conserve water and energy, or establish school gardens or outdoor classrooms-and integrate these projects into the curriculum. Apply online. Seed Grants  Deadline: Ongoing


Are you working to start a community action project or program with your friends? Do you need money to put your ideas into action? A $500 Do Something Seed Grant is given out every week to help young people just like YOU! These grants can be used towards project ideas and programs that are just getting started, or to jump-start your program and realize your ideas for the first time. These grants can also be used towards projects that are already developed and sustainable, towards the next steps of your project and organization to help you as you look to expand your project and grow your impact. Click Here   




Robin Organ

Founder and Executive Director

Green Schools