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Da Vinci Science Center Receives Grant from PPL Foundation

Funding will allow Science Center to serve more students in STEM Summer Learning programs.

The Da Vinci Science Center has received a $5,000 grant from the PPL Foundation to support STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Summer Learning Programs in the Allentown and Bethlehem Area School Districts.

Students not engaged in summer learning opportunities can fall 2-3 grade levels behind their peers by the end of fifth grade. This summer, thanks in part to the generous support of the PPL Foundation, students at Central Elementary School in the Allentown School District and Donegan Elementary School in the Bethlehem Area School District participated in a STEM Summer Learning Program designed to provide fun opportunities to learn in the summer and reduce summer learning loss.

The program employs a unique co-teaching model, pairing school district teachers with Da Vinci Science Center educators to deliver a curriculum designed specifically to increase student engagement and achievement. Throughout the six-week program, instructors integrated reading and narrative writing literacy activities with hands-on, student-led science investigations into fun topics like animals, weather, and robotics. These scientific investigations engaged students on a deep level and motivate them to learn more about their topic of interest.

“PPL is committed to supporting high-quality educational opportunities, especially for students in need,” said Carol Obando-Derstine, regional affairs director for PPL Electric Utilities. “This program tries to level the playing field by providing underserved students help building reading, writing, and STEM skills.”

Thanks to support from organizations like the PPL Foundation, the Da Vinci Science Center has been able to serve many more students in STEM Summer Learning programs.

“We cannot thank the PPL Foundation enough for their generous support.” said Lin Erickson, Executive Director and CEO of the Da Vinci Science Center. “With their contribution, we will help more students reach their full potential and help prepare the workforce of tomorrow.”

Learn more about the PPL Foundation at