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).



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Deadline to apply is September 30. 

2021-2022 Winners

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

  • Adrienne Burns, Middle Paxton Elementary, Dauphin, to create extracurricular STEAM clubs for 4th and 5th graders at multiple elementary schools.
  • Amanda Carannante, Dr. David W. Kistler Elementary, Wilkes-Barre, for a sea-themed STEM curriculum that will introduce the engineering design process to early elementary students.
  • Amanda Freiler, Catasauqua Middle School, Catasauqua, for supplies for various science lessons and experiments to get students more engaged and interested in the subject of science.
  • Amber Stewart, Boiling Springs High School, Boiling Springs, for a year-round agribusiness project using hydroponic planting systems.
  • Ann Czeponis, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School, Coal Township, for a yearlong, international collaboration with students at Escola Eleva-Barra in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, learning about sustainability in both schools.
  • Annette Smith, Circle of Seasons Charter School, Fogelsville, for a project that will create a butterfly environment to teach students the metamorphosis through a variety of lessons.
  • Austin Berg, Gockley Elementary School, Whitehall, for a project that will integrate STEM learning concepts into physical education classes.
  • Caitlin Hellen, Carbon Learning Achievement School, Schnecksville, for a project that will use hydroponics and composting to engage students in personal sustainability concepts of reducing, reusing and recycling.
  • Christopher Piasecki, Wayne Highlands Middle School, Honesdale, for equipment and tools needed for the school’s Technology & Engineering Education classrooms.
  • David Sunderland, Mifflinburg Area High School, Mifflinburg, for a program to encourage more girls to explore and get excited about STEM subjects.
  • Elise Laudenslager, Upper Dauphin Area Middle School, Lykens, for a hydroponics system that will provide 8th graders with a hands-on agriculture and technology experience.
  • Erin Zeiders, Blain Elementary, Blain, for a classroom terrarium that will teach students about the life cycle of plants.
  • Grace Painter, Central Manor Elementary School and Hambright Elementary School, Washington Borough, for a project to introduce robotics into elementary classrooms beginning in fifth grade.
  • Heather Aulisio, Tobyhanna Elementary Center, Pocono Pines, for a hands-on engineering project in which students will build, wire and code various robots.
  • Jackie Druck and Brian Booker, Manheim Township Middle School, Lancaster, for a collaborative project to highlight the interconnectedness of STEM and Social Studies and how both disciplines can be combined to help students make sense of the world around them.
  • James G. Wilson, Sheckler Elementary, Catasauqua, for a project to introduce students to basic coding to develop a game, app or webpage to be unveiled at the Spring Science Fair.
  • Jamiel Smoker, Pequea Valley Intermediate School, Kinzers, for a cross-curricular project that integrates woodshop with science and math lessons to allow students to explore creativity and engineering applications.
  • Jason Reed, Warrior Run High School, Turbotville, for support of the school’s engineering elective class that focuses on better preparing students for a future in engineering.
  • Jennifer Kling, Vernfield Elementary School, Telford, for materials to allow 240 students to participate in the First LEGO League Cargo Connect Challenge, allowing children to explore the future of energy and transportation.
  • Jocelyn Rawls, E.H. Phillips, Harrisburg, for a project that integrates STEM and literacy to help students connect the dots of lifelong learning.
  • Joe M. Williams, Donegan Elementary School, Bethlehem, for STEM kits that will allow teachers to integrate STEM concepts into various subjects, allowing students of different learning styles and levels to explore, create and discover at their own pace.
  • Julie Mueller, Farmersville Elementary School, Bethlehem, for a digital literacy curriculum to teach K-5 students topics, such as coding, computational thinking, robotics, circuitry, engineering design process and more.
  • Katona Miller, Scranton High School, Scranton, for Family STEM Nights for middle school students and their families to gain exposure to the engineering design process, project-based learning and computational thinking that would be needed to succeed in the high school’s new STEMM Academy.
  • Kerri Kime, Lycoming Career and Technology Center, Hughesville, for a project teaching high school students how to implement math, science and technology into developmentally appropriate lessons to pre-k-aged children.
  • Kimberly Jacovelli, B.F. Morey Elementary, Stroudsburg, for classroom robotics kits to introduce elementary-aged students to robotics and coding.
  • Kristen Brazon-Petrick, Mount Carmel Area Elementary School, Mount Carmel, for development of a makerspace to provide students the opportunity to create, invent, tinker, explore, and discover using a variety of tools and materials.
  • Lisa Fives, Wallenpaupack Area High School, Hawley, for a biotechnology lab project for high school students to learn about DNA testing and genotypes.
  • Machele Lynch, St. Patrick School, Carlisle, for a community garden to teach students about food insecurity, supply chain, logistics and food production.
  • Manda Mosier, Robb Elementary, Lock Haven, for a project to introduce students to STEM concepts through Lego Kits.
  • Marissa Andrews, L.B. Morris Elementary School, Jim Thorpe, for lab supplies and materials needed to increase the hands-on learning capabilities of the science curriculum on energy.
  • Marlo Coffinberger, Nescopeck Elementary, Berwick, for STEM activity kits that will engage students in collaboration, problem solving, experimentation, innovation, discovery and communication, encouraging technology use, adaptation and knowledge application.
  • Maryanne Robertson, Smith Middle School, Quarryville, for collaborative STEM labs that are engaging and inspiring thinking outside the box.
  • Meagan Wentz, Packer Ridge Academy, Lehighton, for equipment needed to engage students in digital learning projects, such as creating a stop-motion animation video, virtual frog dissection and learning about space with the NASA visualizer.
  • Megan Roselli, Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley, Allentown, for a coding and programming curriculum kit that will challenge students to design, engineer, code, test and improve a unique instrument. Intertwining STEM, art and music will spark students’ interests in STEM classes and careers.
  • Melissa Sheffer, Newville Elementary, Newville, for a project to inspire students’ interest in STEM subjects through a collaborative Space Club.
  • Mia Gray, Thomas W. Holtzman Jr. Elementary School, Susquehanna, for STEAM class stations to serve more than 700 students in the school. Students learn about real-world issues and work collaboratively to develop innovative solutions.
  • Michelle Davis, Parkside, Palmerton, for supplies for a collaborative stem project that will allow students to create, problem-solve and learn hands on.
  • Nicole Sassaman, Selinsgrove Area High School, Selinsgrove, for equipment to create hands-on activities to bring to life lessons on physics, chemistry and ecology.
  • Rachel Fried, Farmdale Elementary School, Mount Joy, for engineering toy sets to provide students the opportunity to explore forces, motion, energy and simple machines through inquiry-based learning.
  • Ryan Moraski, Conrad Weiser Middle School, Robesonia, for an after-school science mentorship program to offset learning loss as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions and to provide enrichment in STEM-based topics.
  • Samantha Coleman, St. Joseph the Worker School, Orefield, for 3D equipment to supplement the school’s current STEM curriculum.
  • Samantha Masco, Carbondale Area Jr./Sr. High School, Carbondale, for the development of a tiny home that will teach students about research, design, architecture, energy use and resource consumption.
  • Scott Dustman, West Scranton High School, Scranton, for coding and electrical circuit boards to instruct students on both coding and basic circuit design.
  • Sheena Kuczynski, St. Joseph the Worker School, Orefield, for robotics and coding equipment to enhance the school’s science curriculum.
  • Stacey DiCicco, Neidig Elementary, Quakertown, for STEM kits that will encourage students to learn through play and experimentation.
  • Stephanie Beadle, C.E. McCall Middle School, Montoursville, for a renewable energy awareness project that will provide students opportunities for hands-on learning about ecology and sustainability. Projects include assembling wind turbines, witnessing the conversion of ethanol to electrical energy and generating electricity by combining hot and cold waters.
  • Tiffany Underkoffler, Williams Valley Elementary School, Tower City, for materials needed to provide hands-on experiences to approximately 600 students using the topics of coding, robotics and other technology.
  • Victoria Kozlek, Hazleton Elementary/Middle School, Hazleton, for a collaborative project in which students will animate scenes from literature, learning problem solving, coding, computational thinking and design skills.
  • Wendi Schleig, Shamokin Elementary, Coal Township, for a project that integrates STEM activities at the kindergarten level to improve students’ skills, provide a hands-on approach to learning and closing the equity gap in computer science education, specifically with students with disabilities.
  • Wyatt Smith, Millville Jr./Sr. High School, Millville, for resources to extend the school’s STEM course and projects to include 7th and 8th grade students.

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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