With help from PPL, Girl Scouts take STEM programs on the road
Grant and donation support creation of a mobile science lab
A bright future in science, technology, engineering or math will be closer than ever for girls in central Pennsylvania, thanks to donations to Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania by PPL.
The PPL Foundation recently gave the regional Girl Scouts organization a $60,000 grant to purchase a large cargo van that will be outfitted as a mobile laboratory, with laptop computers, mobile hotspot technology, 3D printers and other equipment. PPL Electric Utilities donated another $5,000 to support operation and maintenance of the mobile lab for the year.
The STEM lab will take activities and programming offered at the Girl Scouts’ centers and camps and bring it to girls in rural areas, who may lack financial resources or transportation to attend events in larger communities. The goal is to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM fields, where they will likely earn a higher income and use their expertise, courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place.
The Girl Scouts hope the lab will help them reach twice as many girls with exciting science and technology programs, ranging from human biology to writing code for video games. The van is expected to be ready in late spring and make its official debut at Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania’s inaugural STEM Expo on May 20, 2017 at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA.
“The mobile lab will give us wonderful new opportunities to reach more girls, inspire them with high-quality STEM learning opportunities, and possibly change the course of their lives,” said Ellen Kyzer, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania and a former Girl Scout. “We thank the PPL Foundation and PPL Electric Utilities for helping to make this vision a reality.”
The mobile lab will be wrapped with a Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania Girls Go STEM wrap and will prominently feature PPL’s logo.
The PPL Foundation announced its support for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania as part of a larger group of grants that support organizations in its focus areas of education, workforce development and community revitalization. The foundation’s giving in 2016 totaled more than $2 million.
“The mobile STEM van is a wonderful, creative effort to reach and encourage girls who may become tomorrow’s doctors, engineers or researchers,” said Lissette Santana, senior manager-Corporate Relations for PPL. “We are glad to support this effort, which will reach and strengthen communities throughout PPL’s Pennsylvania service area.”
The mobile van will support the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania’s Girls Go STEM program, a three-year initiative created to address gender equality in STEM fields. In the first year of Girls Go STEM, the organization plans to reach over 3,000 girls in central and northeastern Pennsylvania through events, educational sessions and troop activities to introduce and spark their interest in STEM field careers.
On the national level, Girl Scouts of the USA – which reaches 2.4 million girls aged 5 through 17 – is uniquely positioned to encourage STEM programs and address gender equity in science, math and technical fields. Girl Scouts of the USA and its councils across the country have embarked on an advocacy initiative to raise awareness about girls’ participation in STEM with public officials and community leaders at the local, state, and federal levels.
About Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania
Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania provides the character-building benefits of scouting to more than 17,000 girls across 30 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. The organization’s mission and long-term goal is to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. For more information, visit www.gshpa.org.
About the PPL Foundation
Through strategic partnerships, the PPL Foundation supports organizations that are doing innovative and groundbreaking work to create vital, sustainable communities and empowering each citizen to fulfill her or his potential. Since its inception in 2015, the PPL Foundation has contributed more than $4 million to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations in north and central Pennsylvania. Visit www.pplcares.com to learn more.