PPLImagine using a thermal imaging camera to identify energy waste, developing a generator that produces electricity as a dock rises and falls with the waves, or turning a waste product into a potentially viable source of energy.

These projects and others will be possible, in part, thanks to PPL Corporation’s Empowering Educators grants. Five schools in eastern and central Pennsylvania were selected as recipients of 2013 Empowering Educators grants from PPL. Grant awards totaled $10,000.

“We know that our future workforce will have plenty of opportunities to find careers in the science, technology, engineering and math fields,” said Meg Welker, manager of education and public outreach for PPL. “PPL is proud to support programs that help generate students’ interest in those areas.”

Grant recipients include:

Central Columbia High School, Bloomsburg, Pa. (Central Columbia School District): $2,000 to purchase a thermal imaging camera for students to use in identifying energy waste and unsafe electrical circuits.  Students will be trained in its operation, take images of their own homes and write reports on what the images show them about the insulation levels of their homes, overloaded electrical circuits and refrigerators that leak cold air. Additional use of the camera will be made in other courses at the school.

Danville Area Middle School, Danville, Pa. (Danville Area School District): $2,000 for students in sixth grade to study the effects of the depletion of non-renewable energy fuel sources. The students will design alternative energy sources utilizing Lego blocks. Students will interact in a virtual environment with electrical engineering faculty and students at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pa., to better understand how their design can solve real-world issues.

Hazleton Area Academy of Science, Drums, Pa. (Hazleton Area School District): $2,000 to focus on the production of biodiesel from waste vegetable oil and the potential uses for that product. The students will be exposed to real-life applications of chemistry, biology and manufacturing and will form relationships with area businesses and organizations.   Environmental and ecological pros and cons will be studied to understand whether this fuel can be a potential alternative to other fuel sources.

Wallenpaupack Area High School, Hawley, Pa. (Wallenpaupack Area School District): $2,000 for the development of a DC electricity generator that attaches to a dock floating on Lake Wallenpaupack and generates electricity through a sliding action as the dock rises and falls with the waves. The electricity will be stored in a battery and used to light an LED light at the end of the dock. This team has already been identified as a finalist in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lemelson grant program.

East Hills Middle School, Bethlehem, Pa. (Bethlehem Area School District): $2,000 to help two teams of seventh graders (about 265 students) visit Lehigh Gap Nature Center to learn about the history of the site, with emphasis on how and why green technology was used for its center. Students will then use what they learn to develop a land use plan for the Archibald Johnston Conservation Area in Bethlehem.

The grants are in addition to $1.8 million in PPL corporate contributions for educational institutions and programs during 2013. The contributions went to high schools, trade schools, colleges and universities, as well as nonprofit groups that support scholarships, educational improvement programs and early childhood education.

A team of PPL employees, environmental professionals and educators chose the winning projects. PPL sponsors the Empowering Educators Grants program as part of an initiative to educate the public about energy resources and the environment.

For more information, visit www.pplweb.com and select Citizenship, Support for Education, then Grants.

PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL), with 2013 revenues of $12 billion, is one of the largest companies in the U.S. utility sector. The PPL family of companies delivers electricity and natural gas to about 10 million customers in the United States and the United Kingdom, owns more than 18,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States and sells energy in key U.S. markets. More information is available atwww.pplweb.com.