Staten Island, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today congratulated Staten Island science teacher Patricia Lockhart from The Hubert Humphrey School PS 57 for winning the 2011-2012 President Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. Ms. Lockhart was one of eighteen teachers nationwide recognized for their exceptional work as leaders in the field of environmental education.
“I congratulate Patricia Lockhart for her dedication and excellence in preparing our students for the new green economy,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Ms. Lockhart’s engaging, hands-on curricula teaching students about healthy eating and the environment and will go a long way towards building the next generation of environmental innovators.”
The majority of Ms. Lockhart’s class projects at The Hubert Humphrey School are done in school gardens and at nearby Eibs Pond Park. Patricia Lockhart developed an eclectic science curriculum that engages students in hands-on outdoor environmental education projects, including the creation of a healthy children’s garden at the school, where students grow their own fruit and vegetables while learning about plant life, health and nutrition. Ms. Lockhart planted a butterfly and bee garden to attract pollinators to help students learn about plant and insect life.
Ms. Lockhart’s specialized projects and programs contributed to Hubert Humphrey students consistently scoring between 60 and 70 percent above grade level on the fourth-grade state science test. She also runs robotics and watershed programs for upper-grade level students and leads the Junior Ranger Science Club at the YMCA, where students learn about robotics and the environment. Ms. Lockhart also leads the student “Green Team” in operating school-wide recycling projects.
The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers and their local education agencies across the country for excellence in integrating environmental education into their lessons and connecting students with their communities and the natural world.