25 school teachers receive grants from PPL Foundation
Educators receive $1,000 grants for programs promoting science, technology, engineering and math

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (Oct. 31, 2018) — Climate science research, 3D coral reefs, solar-powered robots and urban gardening experiments are just some of the innovative and forward-thinking projects students will be tackling throughout eastern and central Pennsylvania, thanks to the PPL Foundation’s Empowering Educators grants.

The PPL Foundation today announced grants to 25 middle and high school teachers to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities in their classrooms. Each teacher receives a grant of $1,000 to spend on equipment and materials for projects.

“We’re excited to be able to support teachers who work every day to inspire students through innovative and meaningful classroom experiences,” said Lissette Santana, chief operating officer of the PPL Foundation. “With most jobs requiring a basic understanding of math and technology, making these subjects interesting for students today has the potential to shape their future careers.”

Since the grant program’s inception in 2003, PPL and now The PPL Foundation have awarded more than $230,000 to more than 165 teachers.

The following teachers are this year’s grant recipients:

  • Jennifer Fisher, Central Columbia Middle School, Bloomsburg, Pa., for equipment to test and analyze solar power panels and determine their effectiveness.
  • Tarra Conrad, Cumberland Valley High School, Mechanicsburg, Pa., for equipment needed to teach students about renewable energy sources such as solar power.
  • Sasha Roble, Central Dauphin High School, Harrisburg, Pa., for the supplies needed for students to develop, test and analyze a vertical gardening system.
  • Janet Caley, Conestoga Christian School, Morgantown, Pa., for the supplies needed for special education students to build a solar-powered hydraulic robot, teaching them hands-on lessons in engineering and technology.
  • Matthew Roth, Dieruff High School, Allentown, Pa., for robotics equipment that will enhance the hands-on learning capabilities of the school’s current STEM lab.
  • Jennifer Trout, Ephrata Middle School, Ephrata, Pa., to fund the devices and applications needed to enhance the curriculum and engage students through the use of augmented reality.
  • Gregory Mazurek, Hazleton Academy of Science, Drums, Pa., for supplies needed to support a school-wide science fair.
  • Diane Mantek, Jersey Shore Elementary School, Jersey Shore, Pa., for the supplies needed to teach computer coding basics, which hone students’ problem-solving skills and ability to think using applied math, logic, algorithms and science.
  • Cindylee Hart, John Harris High School, Harrisburg, Pa., to support a student-led initiative to design and build a community courtyard at the school.
  • Joann Donati, L.B. Morris Elementary School, Jim Thorpe, Pa., to help fund the school’s annual Family STEM Night, which engages the entire school community in hands-on science, math and technology activities.
  • Gregory Zahm, Liberty High School, Bethlehem, Pa., for equipment needed for students to research, build and interpret a 3-D model of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Sara Schmader, Lincoln Jackson Academy, Scranton, Pa., to supply the school with a robotics building system for all students.
  • Sarah Davis, Mid Valley Secondary Center, Throop, Pa., to support the development of a hands-on fluid power class that will teach students how pneumatics produce power.
  • Mark Kreisher, Muncy Elementary School, Muncy, Pa., to fund the modeling software needed for students to build 3D printers. 
  • Sylvia Gordon, Raub Middle School, Allentown, Pa., for equipment that will allow students to monitor, test and improve sound quality for the student-run news station.
  • Tracee Myer and Amy Weir, Robert B. Deibler Elementary School, Perkasie, Pa., for the supplies needed to create a Fab Lab for the school’s 450 students.
  • Kaye Schwenk, Schuylkill Haven Area High School, Schuylkill Haven, Pa., to support the implementation of the Trout in the Classroom Program, which fosters student awareness of coldwater conservation and encourages participation in coldwater resource projects and recreation programs.
  • Allison Moyer, South Side Elementary, Harrisburg, Pa., to support development of a class in which students will learn about weather tools and prediction patterns to help them research and generate potential climate change solutions.
  • Ann Marie Rogers, St. Clare's School, Scranton, Pa., for the equipment to build a weather station to allow elementary school students to learn about and explore weather.
  • Elise Lytz, St. Ignatius Loyola Regional School, West Lawn, Pa., for a 3D printer that will be used to enhance science lessons by turning abstract concepts into real-world objects.
  • Matthew Gilger, St. Joseph School, Danville, Pa., for camera equipment and video editing software that allows students to hone their technology skills while producing content for the student-run news station.
  • Jillian McDermott, Summit School of the Poconos, East Stroudsburg, Pa., for supplies to develop a robotics lab in which students have the opportunity to explore a variety of engineering and technology systems.
  • Brad Newlin, Warrior Run High School, Turbotville, Pa., to fund Arduino boards that will advance the skills of students in the school’s computer science class.
  • Angela Grove, West Perry Middle School, Elliottsburg, Pa., to support the development of a makerspace for the school’s 600 students.
  • Vito Pasone Jr., Wilkes-Barre Area School District STEM Academy, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., to provide supplies to the school’s environmental science students to test soil and water quality in the Susquehanna River basin.

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About the PPL Foundation
Through strategic partnerships, the PPL Foundation supports organizations that are doing innovative and groundbreaking work to create vital, sustainable communities and empowering each citizen to fulfill her or his potential. The PPL Foundation contributes more than $3 million annually to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations in eastern and central Pennsylvania. To learn more, visit pplweb.com.

Editor’s Note: Photos and b-roll of past winners are available upon request. For more information on the grant program please visit pplempoweringeducators.com

 

For further information: Lissette Santana, 610-774-5997
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