PPL’s Empowering Educators grants are designed to support and encourage teachers to provide hands-on learning experiences in the areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Teachers Win Big for STEM Education

A teacher with 3 students in a classroom building a robot

PPL Foundation awards grants annually to empower educators who spark their students’ imaginations.

The PPL Empowering Educators program is designed to help K-12 teachers provide hands-on learning opportunities to enhance the classroom experience and spark students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).



The application program for the 2021-2022 school year is closed.  Please check again next August.

2019-2020 Winners

Learn more about the types of grants we support by getting to know our most recent award recipients.

  • Joshua Abrams, Springhouse Middle School, Allentown, to support the development of a video editing workstation to help students produce videos about local manufacturing and history.
  • Heather Aulisio, Tobyhanna Elementary Center, Pocono Pines, for a project that uses photography to incorporate art into science and math lessons.
  • Brian Blase, Hershey Intermediate School, Hershey, to develop a STEM club for fourth- and fifth-graders.
  • Patricia Bucci, Penn Kidder Campus, Albrightsville, to support a STEAM Night for students and parents.
  • Carmella Bullick, Lakeland Jr./Sr. High School, Scott Township, for equipment for the engineering class to study environmental science and energy consumption.
  • Adrienne Burns, Linglestown Elementary School, Harrisburg, to develop a STEM club for students in third through fifth grades.
  • Casey Cappello, Middle Paxton Elementary School, Dauphin, for materials needed to set up a before-school STEM club.
  • Ryan Chlubickiu, Penn Kidder Campus, Albrightsville, for materials needed to use augmented reality to bring engineering lessons to life.
  • John Croom, North Pocono High School, Covington Township, to expand the capability of the school’s STEM makerspace.
  • Lauran Deibert, Lenkerville Elementary School, Millersburg, to fund a collaborative study with the Keystone Elk Alliance for students to learn about Pennsylvania’s elk population.
  • Kim DeLullo, Montgomery Elementary School, Montgomery, for a project that will use fairy tales as the basis of teaching STEM subjects to kindergarten students.
  • Cynthia Dyson, Mount Rock Elementary School, Newville, to develop Tinker Tuesday events to give students hands-on experience with coding, robotics and other technology.
  • Jeffrey Earle, Forest City Regional High School, Forest City, to incorporate robotics into seventh-grade curriculum.
  • Shannon Fetterman, Shamokin Annex, Shamokin, to purchase equipment needed to introduce robotics to early elementary students.
  • Rachel Fraser, North Side Elementary School, Harrisburg, for materials needed to teach elementary students about various forms of energy.
  • Diane Gabrielle, Jim Thorpe Area High School, Jim Thorpe, to develop a makerspace where students can adapt toys or other devices for students with disabilities.
  • Gail Gagner, Wilson Area Intermediate School, Easton, to support the school’s race car club, in which students design, test, adjust and race a car in the Nazareth 90.
  • Samantha George, Penn-Kidder Campus, Albrightsville, for a project that combines literacy with STEM subjects by having students create a multimedia analysis of a novel.
  • Nadine Gorham, Dickey Elementary School, Lock Haven, to purchase building kits that allow students to design simple machines.
  • Barbara Greenway, St. John Neumann Regional Academy, Williamsport, to introduce girls in third through 12th grade to basic robotics and coding.
  • Wendi Hair, Mount Rock Elementary School, Newville, for equipment to teach students basic robotics, coding and engineering lessons.
  • Sara Heintzelman, Centennial School of Lehigh University, Bethlehem, for curriculum materials to make STEM subjects more accessible to special education students.
  • Kristin Heller, Towamensing Elementary School, Lehighton, for materials and books to enhance students’ understanding of STEM subjects.
  • Josh Korb, Eastern York Middle School, Wrightsville, to purchase mobile classroom backpacks equipped with solar panels and USB battery packs that allow for teaching outside the classroom.
  • Katie Lewis, Paxtonia Elementary School, Harrisburg, to create STEM bins with equipment that young students can use to explore and tinker.
  • Stephanie Machmer, Jersey Shore Area Senior High School, Jersey Shore, for an aquaponics system to enhance lessons for environmental science and biology classes.
  • Steve Major, Shamokin Area High School, Coal Township, for the software needed to teach students data analysis.
  • Michelle Maxwell, Washington Heights Elementary School, Lemoyne, to teach the principals of electronics through coding robotics tools.
  • Ryan Maxwell, Rossmoyne Elementary School, Mechanisburg, to purchase basic robotics and coding teaching tools.
  • Jillian McDermott, Summit School of the Poconos, East Stroudsburg, to expand the after-school coding and robotics club.
  • Suzanne Milkowich, Jim Thorpe Area High School, Jim Thorpe, to provide hands-on engineering lessons through the design and building of a working trebuchet to be unveiled at a community STEM fair.
  • Susan Miller, Kolbe Academy, Bethlehem, to purchase a 3D printer and other equipment for hands-on engineering and technology lessons.
  • Manda Mosier, Robb Elementary School, Lock Haven, to purchase equipment to teach students basic coding.
  • Dan Moyer, Upper Perkiomen High School, Pennsburg, for an aquaponic system to promote sustainable farming practices.
  • Ilka O’Donovan, Wind Gap Middle School, Pen Argyl, to support the robotics club competition in regional, state and national events.
  • Samantha Pavick, Millville Elementary School, Millville, for equipment to set up a makerspace for fifth-grade students.
  • Michele Reiber, Fink Elementary School, Middletown, to purchase a classroom terrarium for students to learn about the life cycle of plants.
  • Stephen Roth, Steelton-Highspire High School, Steelton, for computer application classes that will bring coding to life through robotics.
  • Matthew Salerno, Riverside West Elementary School, Taylor, to incorporate robotics and coding equipment into second-grade curriculum.
  • Sarah Schlegel, Clermont Elementary School, Quarryville, to develop a STEM makerspace for 250 students.
  • Sharon Sharp, Hazleton Elementary/Middle School, Hazleton, to introduce students to basic coding and robotics.
  • Trisha Sheehe, Mount Carmel Area High School, Mount Carmel, to create a makerspace to be used by more than 100 students.
  • Ashley Sipe, Bart-Colerain Elementary School, Christiana, for fairytale STEM kits that help teach students the connections between literacy, math and science.
  • Adam Steininger Jr., Midd-West High School, Middleburg, to purchase kits for students to design and engineer radio-controlled devices.
  • Sarah Thoman, Eastern York High School, Wrightsville, for the equipment needed for students to design, build and plant hydroponic growing systems.
  • Kaylora Thompson, Turbotville Elementary School, Turbotville, to purchase robotics and coding kits for the second-grade class.
  • Catherine Tombasco, Drums Elementary/Middle School, Drums, to introduce the Internet of Things concept to students by having them design and build wearable technology devices.
  • Jesse Wagner, Mount Carmel Area Jr./Sr. High School, Mount Carmel, for materials to enhance the physics curriculum on the “current wars” between Tesla and Edison.
  • Elizabeth Watson, Robert D. Wilson Elementary School, Waymart, to use the school’s greenhouse to foster entrepreneurship classes.
  • Greg Zahm, Liberty High School, Bethlehem, for materials needed to enhance the students’ learning about sustainable urban farming practices.

Empowering Educators

Students showcase stem skills at school-wide fair

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.

Roller coaster challenge thrills eighth-graders

Lori Cirucci teacher and science content leader at Broughal Middle School uses PPL Empowering Educator grant to launch Roller Coaster curriculum to give students a hands-on lesson on kinetic energy and the forces of motion. Lori Cirucci, a teacher and science content leader at Broughal Middle School, designed the Roller Coaster curriculum to give students a hands-on lesson on kinetic energy and the forces of motion.

Students learn happily ever after with fairy-tale stem lessons

The Three Little Pigs, the Three Billy Goats Gruff and Rapunzel aren’t just familiar figures from fairy tales. They’re helping first-graders learn about science and math, too. Lynette Miller, a teacher at Fermanagh-Mifflintown Elementary School in Juniata County, is using fairy tale-themed kits that teach basic science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts.


    If you have a project in mind or need more information about PPL’s grants program, please get in touch by email.

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