The Environmental Protection Agency Center for High School Students is an initiative that encourages all high school students in the United States to learn about the environment and actively participate in taking care of their surroundings. It is a resource center for students who are interested in protecting their environment.
The main areas of concern that the Center is involved in are air pollution and global warming, waste and recycling, water, conservation of energy, soil, water and endangered species, ecosystems, health and safety, and neighborhood and community issues.
These skills are taught not only in the classroom but also practically as well as online. One can obtain lesson plans from Kindergarten level to 12th Grade. Among the subject titles are “Chika Chika Boom Boom” for kindergarten children, “America, A Home for Every Culture” for 2nd Grade, “Harriet Tubman Integrated Unit” for 4th Grade Music class, and “Tools” for Kindergarten, 3rd and 7th Grades.
The EPA Environmental Center also provides funding for high school projects, giving in August 2009 eight grants worth $190,000 for environmental educational projects to be done in Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. The grants are awarded annually to high school institutions that develop the best proposal for environmental projects.
The Center also has a blog where students contribute their opinions and articles about the environment. The blog entitled “Greenversations” provides personalized perspectives from actual students and coordinators of environmental programs. Categories such as Earth Day, Government and “On the Green Road” show the diverse viewpoints of the active members of the program.
The EPA provides opportunities for student employment as well through their summer programs at their headquarters in Washington D.C. and in other locations across the USA. There are also employment opportunities for graduates who have been active members of the EPA Environmental Center for High School Students throughout their high school education, as well as internship opportunities.
The Center encourages students to engage in community service activities such as protecting watersheds, conservation practices, and making the environment a cleaner and healthier place to live.
The greatest opportunity provided to students through the EPA is competitions and awards. Students are encouraged to join as many competitions as they can to supplement their knowledge of the environment through trivia and multiple choice competitions. The President’s Environmental Youth Award, Teens for Planet Earth, Young Eco-Hero Award, among many others, are all chances that students can seize to make them more environmentally savvy.
Worth special mention is the EPA’s Environmental Kids Club which is a part of the Center. It is created for Kindergarten children and Middle School students to learn about the environment at an early age. This usually acts as a stepping stone for students to join the Environmental Center for High School Students later in their education.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency has gone out of its way to involve all people in the fight against climate change, from children to the elderly. Its involvement in the environmental policy in the US is felt through the activities and opportunities that the Agency provides for high school students to teach environmental conservation habits that will be carried on to the future, hence reversing the effects of climate change, one student at a time.