The Environmental Protection Agency awarded an Omaha, Nebraska teacher with one of 17 nationwide EPA awards for environmental education. Kristine Denton received a presidential innovation award for her work at Omaha’s King Science and Technology Magnet Middle School.
Denton has worked at the school to build indoor aquaponic farming systems that were used to raise produce to donate to local homeless shelters. Denton will receive a commemoration plaque and $2,000 for professional development in environmental education.
Denton and the technology that she and her students use allow the growth of plants in a soil-free environment with the use of a recirculating water system. Indoor aquaponic farming is very popular in the agriculture world; however, it is very rare for a project of this sort to be seen in a middle school classroom.
Another teacher to win the award was Melanie Blas, who is a science educator at the Simon A. Sanchez High School in Guam.
The ceremony was held at the White House, where teachers from all over the country were honored for their work in environmental education.
“Through their enthusiasm and commitment, these students and educators are inspiring current and future environmental stewards,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We are pleased to honor their work that helps communities and protects the environment.”