Pa., N.J. schools recipients of Earth Day award

In honor of Earth Day, two schools were honored for their forward-thinking environmental programs.

The ladies of Academy of Notre Dame de Namur in Villanova were understandably excited to be recipients of the Environmental Community Service Award.

The award is handed out each year to schools who are using nature programs to improve their communities.

"They've been monitoring the stream quality all year," said Emily Giannantonio, science teacher.

Project STREAM is a program that is studying the water quality of Darby Creek.

"It's really important because this is our watershed, and we have to take care of it," said Giannantonio.

The students say they are not only learning, but they are enjoying giving back to their communities.

"I want to study environmental science in college, and I think that this has really inspired me," said Jane Overend of Berwyn.

"It's our environment. We all live here, we all impact it in one way or another," said Caroline Allen of Havertown.

Notre Dame's focus was on the water. School No. 2's focus was the farm.

Winslow Township Middle School in Atco, Camden County, won the award for their Environmental STEM course.

Ross Cruz's students were challenged to create sustainable hydroponic systems in their classroom.

"They have been working really hard. It's really amazing," said Cruz, Environmental STEM Teacher.

Action News was there as Ryan Bowie took a reading of his plant, and noticed its pH levels were a bit high.

"We might need to adjust the nutrients in our system, and then our plant will be good to go," said Ryan, 7th-grader.

Hydroponics are soilless and depend mainly on water.

"We found that hydroponics is a great way of being sustainable," said Cruz. "It doesn't require the use of excess water, it doesn't require excess amount of land and it can be done within someone's household."

That's just what Kamrin Felton's family did.

"My parents are starting to make me grow stuff outside," said Kamrin, 7th-grader. "They just turned our whole house into a growing place."

Along with the award, each school is also given a $5,000 check to continue their projects.

Congratulations to both of these winning schools!
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