Dec 20, 2016
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (Dec. 20, 2016) -- Whether they are modeling molecules, learning to code, or building and racing solar-powered cars, tomorrow’s engineers and mathematicians need only a spark to get their imaginations — and their careers — headed in the right direction. PPL Corporation, in cooperation with PBS stations WLVT, WVIA and WITF, is providing that spark to students in 15 Pennsylvania school districts with grants to support in-school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) projects.
These projects and others will be possible thanks, in part, to PPL Corporation’s Empowering Educators grants. Teachers in 15 schools in eastern and central Pennsylvania were selected to receive $1,000 each as recipients of 2016 Empowering Educators grants from PPL.
“It’s essential that our education systems provide today’s graduates with the academic, technical and life skills needed to enter the workforce in a seamless way,” said Lissette Santana, manager of corporate relations for PPL. “That’s why PPL is dedicated to supporting educators who work to prepare students for the future.”
The local grant recipients will be recognized at award ceremonies to be held at the studios of the PBS partner stations.
“PBS39 is proud to collaborate with PPL to celebrate the work of outstanding teachers in our region,” said Teri Haddad, senior vice president of Education & Production at PBS39. “It’s exciting to see the dedication and level of creativity in developing exciting STEM curriculum among the award winners.”
The following teachers are grant recipients:
- Kimberly Jacovelli, B.F. Morey Elementary School, Stroudsburg, Pa., for “Morey School-Wide STEM Projects,” which will get all students in the K-4 school involved in STEM activities.
- Justin Kast, Easton Area High School, Easton, Pa., for “Starstruck-VEX Robotics and Automation Engineering Competition,” in which student teams research, design and build robots for eventual competition.
- William Graziano, Forest City Regional, Forest City, Pa., to create a school-wide maker space with a 3D printer to be used by students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
- Elizabeth Sterling, Greenwood Friends School, Millville, Pa., for “Brain Power for Human Power,” in which students will use STEM skills to design and create three human-powered electricity generators.
- Kristin Stuby, Liberty High School, Bethlehem, Pa., to lead students in the design, building and testing of a carnival game to be used to engage the community.
- Paul Breon, Liberty Valley Elementary School, Danville, Pa., to implement a 3D printer students will use to design and create an object that solves a problem.
- Steve Toth, Lower Macungie Middle School, Macungie, Pa., for the “Motorsports Engineering Club,” which provides hands-on exposure to STEM subjects through motorsports. Functioning as a race team, the students learn skills ranging from mechanics to finance.
- Tina Klotzbeecher, Melrose School, Harrisburg, Pa., for “Solar Car Racing,” in which students will harness the power of the sun to design, construct and evaluate solar-powered cars.
- Karen Avery, Montoursville Area High School, Montoursville, Pa., for “Modeling Molecules that Matter,” in which students will choose and model a molecule that has implications for the human population.
- Sarah Cummings, Ritter Elementary School, Allentown, Pa., for “Mobile Maker Space,” which will provide a maker space lab for students to invent, experiment and create using STEM skills.
- Matthew Rogers, Salisbury Elementary School, Gap, Pa., for “4th Graders Exploring Coding,” in which students will learn critical thinking, logical reasoning and foundational computer-coding skills by developing a program to operate classroom robots.
- Victoria Savo, Swiftwater Intermediate School, Swiftwater, Pa., to launch a maker space with a curated collection of STEM activity kits to engage students in grades 4-6.
- Dylan Peters, Tamaqua Elementary School, Tamaqua, Pa., for “Empowering Students Through Coding and Engineering Design,” which aims to help students create, collaborate and think critically to solve 21st century problems.
- Karen Price, Union Terrace Elementary School, Allentown, Pa., for “Origins of Energy,” a project in which students will use hands-on activities, internet resources and apps to learn about the nature of energy.
- Katie Leach, Weatherly Area High School, Weatherly, Pa., for “3D Printing in the 21st Century,” which will implement a 3D printer to enhance the curriculum for students in several disciplines of study, including drafting, history, geography and chemistry.
A team of PPL employees and PBS education specialists chose the winning projects. PPL sponsors the Empowering Educators grants program as part of an initiative to educate the public about energy resources.
This year, PPL awarded $15,000 in Empowering Educators grants. Since the program’s inception in 2003, PPL has awarded more than $180,000 for projects in 118 schools near PPL facilities.