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Grand Island, Nebraska, High School Student Wins Presidential Environmental Youth Award


Jami Harper, a student from Grand Island Northwest High School in Grand Island, Neb., has won EPA Region 7’s 2006 Presidential Environmental Youth Award for her work in water conservation. Jami will travel to Washington, D.C., to receive her award April 20.

Region 7 Administrator John Askew said, “Jami has developed a creative teaching tool for students to learn how to protect and use our water resources wisely. We are honored to have her represent our region at the annual awards recognition ceremony in Washington.”

Harper created H2Owood Squares, an interactive educational game designed to teach youth and adults about water conservation. H2Owood Squares is based on the television game, Hollywood Squares.

H2Owood Squares has been presented to fourth and fifth graders, parents and teachers across the state during workshops at the Children’s Ground Water Festival and county and state fairs.

The contestants in the game are elementary school students attending workshops. Local teens are recruited to be the celebrities in the squares because the target audience is fourth and fifth graders, who see high school youth as role models. All questions in H2Owood Squares are related to water facts.

Harper designed a Water Wizard Web site to reach more people. She posts a different question about water each weekday and tips on how to protect water resources. The questions from the Web site are used in the H2Owood Squares game.

Harper has worked with several community groups to obtain volunteers to help with the game. She has made presentations at the Groundwater Foundation’s annual water festival, Youth Leadership Tomorrow, Earth Force, Grand Island First United Methodist Church and Grand Island Central Catholic High School. She has worked with the University of Nebraska Extension Service to develop game questions.

Each of EPA’s 10 regional environmental education offices selects a youth award winner every year to represent the region at the national awards ceremony in Washington. Region 7 includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

The awards have been presented annually since 1971 to honor students in kindergarten through 12th grade who develop projects that help protect their environment and promote environmental awareness in their communities.

Applications must be submitted by Oct. 31. They can be obtained from Denise Morrison, Office of External Programs, EPA Region 7, 901 N. Fifth St., Kansas City, KS 66101. Ms. Morrison can be reached by phone at (913) 551-7402 or toll-free at (800) 223-0425. Her e-mail address is The EPA Web site is:


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