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Sacred Heart Greenwich Grads Earn Presidential Award For Fertilizer Project

Madison Miles (left) with Katherine Siciliano in the school lab testing their work at Sacred Heart Greenwich.
Madison Miles (left) with Katherine Siciliano in the school lab testing their work at Sacred Heart Greenwich. Photo Credit: Contributed

GREENWICH, Conn. – A pair of recent Sacred Heart Greenwich graduates will be honored this week in Washington, D.C., where they will be presented with the President’s Environmental Youth Award.

Madison Miles of North Salem, N.Y., and Katherine Siciliano of Stamford, Conn., are to be honored for their contributions to protecting people and the environment from potentially harmful fertilizers, according to the school.

The students will be joined by their former science teacher, Mary Musolino, at the Aug. 16 event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building – just west of the White House.

As seniors in Sacred Heart Greenwich’s science research program, the girls focused their environmental research on the effectiveness of organic soil enhancers in promoting plant growth and increasing crop yield, according to the school. Their project, “Nutrasafe: Creating an Eco-friendly Plant Food for the Environment,” aimed to test viable, safe alternatives to chemical fertilizers.

Ultimately, according to the school, the girls developed specific formulations of compost from food waste and showed through nutrient testing and plant growth studies that their formulations could be used instead of traditional fertilizers.

Each year, the President’s Environmental Youth Awards recognize outstanding environmental projects by students that promote awareness of the nation’s natural resources.

The girls head to Washington after first showing their work at the regional competition in Boston, where judges awarded them with an Environmental Merit Award.

According to the school, the girls will meet at the White House with other winners from across the country and will each receive a presidential plaque.

“This is an opportunity for students to learn from other students and gather new ideas for future projects,” said Ryan M. Robison, special projects advisor, Office of Environmental Education, at the EPA.

Miles and Siciliano graduated from the high school on June 3, according to the school. Miles plans to attend Cornell University in the fall while Siciliano is to begin classes at Boston University. According to the high school, both students plan to continue studying the sciences.

For more information, visit Sacred Heart Greenwich online .

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