PPL Expanding Classrooms and Young Minds
PPL’s Empowering Educators grants benefit local schools
PPL Corporation

PPL Corporation is helping redefine the classroom experience for hundreds of local students, who are taking to the outdoors and participating in fossil digs, creating sun root roofs, investigating wetlands and creating a living wall to grow plants.

For students at seven area schools, those projects will become reality in part because of Empowering Educators grants from PPL. A total of $11,860 was awarded to help develop young minds.

“Careers in science and math will play an integral role in helping our company and country remain successful in the future,” said Meg Welker, manager of education and public outreach for PPL.  “We are excited to create opportunities to help students and teachers gain an upper hand in these subject areas.” 

Grant recipients include:

Bethlehem Area School District, Bethlehem, Pa.: $2,000 will help fund the construction of a living wall, designed and built by students, in the main lobby of Freedom High School. The wall will have a vertical lush garden with carefully selected plants that will improve indoor air quality. The project will give students a lesson in engineering, design and construction as well as environmental science, and will be displayed at the Freedom High School art show.

Blue Mountain School District, Orwigsburg, Pa.: $1,400 will be provided to help 150 fourth-grade students at Blue Mountain Elementary East participate in a classroom outreach project provided by the Da Vinci Science Center of Allentown, Pa. The center’s Classroom Outreach Education programs bring the visiting science experience into smaller school settings. Students will discover the electrifying principles of electrical engineering by creating series and parallel circuits, measuring their voltages, and drawing circuit diagrams.

East Stroudsburg Area School District, Bushkill, Pa.: $2,000 will help fund a coal-age fossil dig for a nature trail and outdoor classroom on the district’s North Campus located in Bushkill, Pa. These additions will help students better understand energy and how it impacts their daily lives, both environmentally and economically. The related display will provide students with a hands-on investigation of the fossils that created coal, the methods used to excavate fossils, geologic time and the processes that gave Pennsylvania its large volume of coal beds. 

Hazleton Area School District, Hazleton, Pa.: $2,000 will be given to provide alternative energy lessons in the classroom. The project will incorporate equipment into the existing pre-engineering curriculum to allow students to explore alternative energy sources and their application to our society’s current power needs. A PV solar system, as well as a student-designed tracking system, will be installed at the Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences as part of a class project. The completed system will provide power to a prominent display to showcase alternative energy to students and visitors, and will be incorporated into classroom activities.

Manheim Central School District, Manheim, Pa.: $2,000 will be given to help design and build a living roof on the livestock stable and horticulture work area used by Manheim Central High School. Additionally, a solar panel will be installed to create an alternative energy source for the stable. The agricultural mechanics class will build the roof structure, the environmental stewardship class will install the solar panel and the agricultural science class will plant the roof. More than 300 students will study science, math and alternative energy as part of this project.

Northeastern School District, York Haven, Pa.: $460 will be used to help 75 third-grade students at York Haven Elementary School study the water cycle and wetland environments at PPL’s Brunner Island Environmental Preserve, and learn how to take care of the environment.  After researching various water habitats, the students will create written and oral reports about a given water habitat and share them with the entire third grade.

Scranton School District, Scranton, Pa.: $2,000 will be used to divert rainwater from the roof of Scranton High School into rain barrels, where it will be stored to water the garden and landscaping. A rain garden, consisting of plants native to Pennsylvania, will be placed strategically near a storm drain to reduce flow to the Lackawanna River. Sixty students will plan, plant and maintain the garden and rain barrels. A presentation will be given at the annual Community Connections to the Watershed Forum in May.

A team of PPL employees, environmental professionals and educators chose the winning projects. PPL sponsors the Empowering Educators grants program as part of an initiative to educate the public about energy resources and the environment. 

Twenty-two schools applied for the current round of grants. For more information, visit www.pplweb.com and select Environment and Community, then Our Education Programs.

PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL), headquartered in Allentown, Pa., through its affiliated companies, owns or controls about 19,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets, and delivers electricity and natural gas to about 10 million customers in the United States and the United Kingdom. More information is available at www.pplweb.com.

For further information: Alana Roberts, 570-542-2886, [email protected]
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