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

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).

Teachers in schools in eastern and central Pennsylvania were selected to receive $1,000 each as recipients of 2018 Empowering Educators grants from PPL Foundation.


Applications for the 2019-2020 grants are no longer being accepted. Please check back in on August 1, 2020 to apply in the next round.

2018-2019 Winners

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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    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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