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EPA presents Tesla STEM students with President’s Environmental Youth Award


Students at Tesla STEM High School started with their own school when they wanted to curb carbon emissions and slow climate change. But they didn’t stop there. The student Leadership Team has challenged other schools to do the same. Since October, almost 30 schools, including schools in Australia, Asia and Africa, have taken on the “Schools Under 2C” Challenge.

On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency Region 10 presented the students with the President’s Environmental Youth Award during a ceremony at the school. Junior Anne Lee, president of the organization, accepted the award.

“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.

Through small changes – composting and turning off lights, for example – the school has reduced its carbon emissions by over a ton and a half each month. The students are partnering with the City of Redmond to develop a smart phone app to encourage students to bus, carpool, bike, or walk to school. Using the app, students will be able to track how they travel to school every day and earn rewards for taking cleaner modes of transportation with a prize from a local business.

Bryn Allesina-McGrogy, co-media director of Schools Under 2C said, “It’s really about teaching other kids to empower yourself and educate yourself. The award shows that we really are making a difference.”