Aug 01, 2018

Students showcase stem skills at school-wide fair

Pocono Mountain East High School uses PPL Empowering Educator grant to launch STEM Fair encouraging students’ interest in real-life application of technology.

Every teacher probably dreams of having an extra eye to keep watch over her students.

So it’s no surprise that among the 50 science and technology projects students created for Pocono Mountain East High School’s first STEM Fair, the 3D animatronic working eye was Heather Aulisio’s favorite.

“I wanted to give the students who wouldn’t typically participate in a science fair the chance to showcase their skills – and they really delivered,” said Aulisio, the gifted support teacher for Pocono Mountain East. “The non-competitive nature of the STEM Fair took the pressure off and made science fun for the students.”

Girls sitting with their colorful poster boards at the STEM fairNearly 300 people attended the STEM Fair, which was made possible with funding from a PPL Foundation Empowering Educators grant.

Aulisio, who has been teaching for 14 years, developed the STEM Fair to encourage students’ interest in the real-life application of technology. Funding from the grant was used to purchase supplies and materials to help students execute their projects successfully.

“We have so many students who are coding, making their own apps and just using technology in creative ways, but we aren’t always aware of that because these types of activities don’t fit in a typical science fair,” she said.

Aulisio said another indicator of success was the high percentage – about 50 percent –of female students who submitted their work.

Her goal is to make the STEM Fair an annual event and grow the number of projects submitted every year to highlight the amazing work of the school’s more than 1,300 students.