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Pocono Mountain East High School students in Monroe County. Source: PPL

Imagine inner-city teens studying the environmental impact of sustainable urban farming, a  kindergarten class building basic robots, or fourth graders having the freedom to invent and problem-solve at their own pace in a school-wide innovation lab.

These projects and more will be possible, in part, thanks to PPL Foundation’s Empowering Educators grants to support science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM, activities. The grants are open to K-12 teachers in school districts in the 29 Pennsylvania counties served by PPL, and to be eligible for an Empowering Educators grant, teachers must submit a contest (via online application that closed at the end of September, for this year).

Fifty teachers throughout eastern and central Pennsylvania were selected as recipients of 2019 Empowering Educators grants from PPL. Each teacher receives a grant of $1,000 to spend on equipment and materials for projects.

“There’s no shortage of innovative ideas from teachers who are working to use hands-on learning opportunities to bring STEM subjects to life for their students,” said Lissette Santana, chief operating officer of the PPL Foundation. “The PPL Foundation is excited to support the efforts of inspiring educators to bring their ideas to life.”

Since the grant program’s inception in 2003, PPL, and now The PPL Foundation, has awarded more than $250,000 to 215 teachers.

For a complete list of 2019 grant recipients, please visit www.pplempoweringeducators.com.

Examples of the winning projects include:

  • Barbara Greenway, St. John Neumann Regional Academy, Williamsport, to introduce girls in third through 12th grade to basic robotics and coding.
  • Kim DeLullo, Montgomery Elementary School, Montgomery, for a project that will use fairy tales as the basis of teaching STEM subjects to kindergarten students.
  • Nadine Gorham, Dickey Elementary School, Lock Haven, to purchase building kits that allow students to design simple machines.
  • Stephanie Machmer, Jersey Shore Area Senior High School, Jersey Shore, for an aquaponics system to enhance lessons for environmental science and biology classes.

This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.