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Application Requirements and Form for the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators

Apply now for the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators.

Application Requirements

To apply for the award, you must submit a completed application form and all the required attachments. The application form requires:

  1. General information about the teacher. The first section of the application form includes contact information, eligibility review, and a summary of teaching experience.

  2. Essays. Applicants are required to respond to essay questions addressing the selection criteria. The essays should be submitted seperately (as attachments) from the application form.
    • Selection criteria and corresponding questions are listed under the following five headings: Innovation, Achievement, Service to the Community and Underserved Populations, Leadership and Integration.
    • Teachers should be certain to clearly address every question in each group of essay questions and, as applicable, include a brief narrative for the accompanying sample teaching materials in section 3 (see below).
    • If the teacher's response to a particular question cites information provided in the response to another question, or in the sample teaching materials, the response should clearly indicate where the information is located so that the reviewer may easily find it.
    • Essay length, font type and size specifications. The length of the essays, in total must not exceed 9 pages (an essay may start on the same page the previous essay ended). Additional pages will not be read or evaluated. Essays are to be written in Times New Roman font, size 12, line spacing 1.5, margins no smaller than 1 inch.

  3. Sample teaching materials. The third section of the application form requests supportive materials that demonstrate the teacher's work with students. The materials should be submitted seperately (as attachments) from the application form.
    • Content - Include materials from one unit/curriculum or module that the teacher has taught. Briefly explain how these materials are/were used, and how the students responded to them.
    • Source(s) - Materials may be original to the teacher or may be from an existing education curricula source. If existing curricula or activities are submitted, please document the source of the materials.
    • Length - Sample teaching materials may not exceed 5 pages. Materials must include a brief description about how they are/were used. In addition to the sample teaching materials, teachers may include up to 5 pages of photos. Photos must be clearly labeled. (Photos are encouraged, but optional.)
      Web links to supporting teaching materials, such as photos (5 or fewer pages), audio or video/visual recordings (10 or fewer minutes total playing time) may also be provided. These documents must be accompanied by a brief description of the project. Reviewers will not attempt to find online content for invalid hyperlinks, so please make sure they are active.

  4. Three letters of support. Each application must include 3 signed letters of support. These letters must be from individuals who are personally familiar with the quality of the teacher's instruction in environmental education. The original letters should be submitted separately (as attachments) from the application form.
    • Letters must come from:
      • An administrator from the school
      • A fellow teacher
      • A past or current student
    • Letters of support must not exceed one page and must include the following:
      • Relationship to teacher
      • Familiarity with the teacher and the work for which the teacher is being considered
      • Perspective on why the teacher's work is unique and innovative in the field of environmental education, and how the teacher might inspire others to utilize environmental education.

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Email Submissions

Complete application packages submitted by email should include the following attachments:

1. Completed application form (12 pages)
2. Answers to essay questions (up to 9 pages)
3. Three letters of support (3 pages)
4. Sample teaching materials and pictures (up to 10 pages)
5. A copy of your teaching certificate (1 page)

Email complete application packages to with the subject line of "Application for 2020-2021 PIAEE." All emailed applicants will receive a confirmation email upon receipt. Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on February 19, 2021.

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Hard Copy Submissions

For this year's competition, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all application materials electronically (email). If you plan to mail some or all of your application materials, please contact us at so that we can ensure that they are received. Please be certain to include all of the required supporting documents outlined above to ensure your application receives full consideration.

Hard copies must be sent by a commerical delivery service and must be delivered by 5 p.m. ET on February 19, 2021, to be eligible for consideration. All applicants will receive a confirmation email upon receipt.

Please send your hardcopy submission to:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Environmental Education
Attn: Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators
William Jefferson Clinton Building North Room 1426-A
1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW (MC 1704-A
Washington, DC 20460

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