PPL Empowering Educators Grant Program Offers Opportunity to Advance Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Posted by Gerard Longo on

Tomorrow's engineers and mathematicians need only a "spark" to get their imaginations and careers headed in the right direction. With support from PPL Corporation, PBS39 will empower five Lehigh Valley area educators to provide the inspiration and stimulation students need with $1,000 awards for their school.

PPL Empowering Educators is a grant program designed to help elementary and middle school teachers provide hands-on learning to students, making science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) interesting and fun. In early December, fifteen $1,000 grants will be awarded to educators in the twenty-nine Pennsylvania counties served by PPL, with five awarded locally. Since the program's inception in 2003, PPL has awarded more than $165,000 for projects in 93 schools throughout the PPL service area.

"Empowering Educators is a great way to give local students hands-on STEM learning experiences," said Tim Fallon, PBS39 CEO. "For students and teachers alike, this program promises to be enriching and inspirational."

Teacher-led student teams will enter design ideas for STEM-related educational projects, such as science fairs, energy conservation projects, renewable energy demonstrations, and math competitions. Entries will be judged on: project proposal, school need, and potential overall impact. The educational teams from PBS39, WITF (Harrisburg), and WVIA (Pittston) will each select five winning ideas.

"The success of our future workforce depends on today's students having experience in and enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and math," said Carol Obando-Derstine, regional affairs director for PPL. "We're excited to partner with our local PBS stations to support teachers and school projects through the Empowering Educators grants to help generate students' interest in these exciting fields."

Educators of students in grades K-8 are encouraged to apply. Grant entries are available via online application beginning Sept. 1 through Oct. 31. Awards will be announced Dec. 2, 2016. Projects must be completed by Apr. 15, 2017, with a final report submitted to the applicant's local station by May 6, 2017.

Teams will celebrate their success during ceremonies held in May at their local public television stations. Students are required to prepare a 2-3 minute presentation reflecting on their experience and the impact the project had on the community. Video presentations are encouraged.

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