Mrs. Nath’s Honorable Mention: The Presidential Innovation Award


Mrs. Rachna Nath, one of ACP Erie’s Honors Biology and Human Anatomy teachers, won an Honorable Mention for the 2019 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE)! The PIAEE recognizes outstanding educators who incorporate engaging and creative environmental lessons into their curriculum. This prestigious award is sponsored by the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, two organizations that focus on developing sustainable environmental polices and promoting positive environmental¬†practices.

Notably, Mrs. Nath is the only teacher from Arizona to have won this award since 2016. She placed within Environmental Protection Agency Zone 9, which includes California, Nevada, Hawaii, and Arizona. Regarding her win, Mrs. Nath stated, “I feel humbled and motivated to work towards sustainability and our environment more”.

Mrs. Nath (middle) received the award from Administrator Andrew Wheeler from the EPA and Mrs. Mary Neumayr, Chairman for the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

To select the award winners, judges reviewed several categories: innovation, achievement, service to the community and underserved groups, leadership, and integration of environmental education to the curriculum. PIAEE award winners such as Mrs. Nath displayed how they embody these traits inside and outside the classroom. In particular, Mrs. Nath enjoys providing opportunities for students to make positive impacts on the environment within their own communities.

Besides teaching science at ACP, Mrs. Nath has positively affected students in other ways. Specifically, she sponsors the MakerSpace/Innovation club, UNICEF club, and the Biophysical Society club. She has obtained several grants, including a Flinn Foundation grant for developing an ASU biophysics pipeline as well as a Society for Science research grant. In 2018, Mrs. Nath and ACP’s UNICEF club sponsored a water walk at a major Arizona hiking trail to fundraise for UNICEF.

As well, Mrs. Nath has mentored several students to help them develop competitive environmentally-related science fair projects. During the last school year, Mrs. Nath helped an ACP student develop an organic anti-swarming agent that saves money for production and prevents unnecessary bee deaths. Also, she supported a group of five ACP freshman who developed anti-VOC scent bags. Together, they worked to raise awareness about volatile organic compounds in the environment.

Mrs. Nath’s win is an exciting achievement, recognizing her motivation and dedication to environmental education!