Attention Teachers: Act 48 Credits Available through PPL Electric Utilities Teacher Workshops

Teachers can earn credits toward their Act 48 requirements when they attend PPL Electric Utilities Teacher Workshop Sessions this summer. This year’s workshops are titled Sustainability through Energy Efficiency. The workshops are designed to reinforce and expand teachers’ knowledge of sustainable practices with a focus on energy efficiency.

Practical knowledge will be reinforced with hands-on activities analyzing how we use energy and how to reduce energy use. Participants will be actively engaged in discussions of best practices in energy management for the home and school, in the areas of lighting, heating and cooling, weatherization, water heating, appliances, electronics, demand side response measures, etc.

Activities will include the use of Kill A Watt® monitors to compare energy use of small electric devices, conducting a lighting audit of the workshop location, testing insulating materials, and creation of an action plan to reduce energy use at home and school.

Three one-day energy efficiency and sustainably workshops will be offered in July. Teachers that attend are trained to become Energy Patrol leaders and will receive hands-on training on how to mentor a patrol group and then work with students, creating an Energy Action Patrol to help the whole school become more aware of the importance of conservation and energy efficiency.

Visit for more information on how to register.

A Welcoming Wednesday at Wallenpaupack

Today was a day of excitement at the learning center!  From an annual Christmas party to an educators’ tour, guests and staff were busy bustling about.

In our auditorium, PPL hosted the Wallenpaupack Historical Society’s Annual Christmas Party.  Attendees meandered through the hall of displays and ventured into the laboratory for a look at microscopic water specimens.  Mingling ceased as word spread that the Wallenpaupack High School Chamber Choir had arrived for their yearly performance.  Reminiscent Christmas hymns and songs were sung, including Carol of the Bells.  A wardrobe change revealed an exciting song and dance show of classics like “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Zat you Santa Claus?”  Choir members then joined society members in pie, punch and pleasurable conversation.

In an adjacent meeting room, PPL Education and Public Relations Manager Meg Welker hosted the Freedoms Foundation teachers from Montgomery County.  These teacher-learners were presented an informational power point of the hydroelectric dam.  Meg explained to them the educational and public outreach aspects of the center, as well as PPL’s connections with the community.  The foundation teachers were then treated to an outdoor tour of the dam.  Back at the center, the educators had free time to see the lab, library and various displays before boarding their bus back to Montgomery County. 

With sounds of joyful voices filling the air, smiling faces were abundant on this beautiful December day.  Thank you, guests, for a delightful day at the Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center.

PPL announces “Empowering Educators” grants program

PPL continues to look for new ways to partner with school districts in the communities where we live and work. We are all concerned about energy conservation and practicing wise use of energy. We frequently hear about the small things we all can do to make a difference as well as the innovative approaches we can take when it comes to energy efficiency and conservation. Through our grant program, students learn more about energy and the environment and how to conserve and protect precious resources for future generations.

The Empowering Educators grant program directs focus toward science, technology, engineering and math projects to encourage action in schools near PPL facilities.  Through these competitive grants, teachers can receive up to $2,000 funding for educational projects that focus on energy issues like renewable energy demonstrations, energy conservation and the greening of schools.

Important Dates for the EE grants:

Application Deadline – Postmarked or received on or before November 11, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.

Grant Awards Announced – December 5, 2011

Mid-Term Report Due – April 22, 2012 (Earth Day)

Project Completion – June 15, 2012

Final Report Due- June 30, 2012

For more information and to apply, visit our website or contact

Alana Roberts, PPL Community Affairs Specialist

PA teachers participate in 29th annual Nuclear Energy Seminar

Educators from all over Pennsylvania gathered at the Susquehanna Energy Information Center in Berwick recently as part of the Nuclear Energy Seminar for Teachers.

NEST provided educators with objective, up-to-date information about the fundamentals of nuclear power, emerging use of nuclear isotopes in the medical field, and the safe and secure operation of PPL’s Susquehanna nuclear power plant.

“The teachers were very interested in learning all about nuclear energy and wanted to find ways to make this topic easier for their students to understand. Most of the teachers said they want to return again and would recommend the program to their colleagues,” said Alana Roberts, PPL community affairs specialist and program coordinator.

The course is taught by David Simpson, professor at Bloomsburg University, using PPL facilities at the Susquehanna nuclear power plant as well as field trips to the East Mountain Business Center and Ecology environmental labs.

Classes included lectures, discussions, hands-on learning activities, field trips and tours with specialized staff from PPL and other nuclear industry agencies.

Seventeen teachers took part in the program, which is open to educators in all disciplines from Grades K-12. Since its inception, the program has graduated over 1,200 teachers. Continuing education hours are available to teachers taking the course.

“It is a longstanding tradition of the Susquehanna nuclear plant to educate the community about nuclear energy,” Roberts said. “The NEST program will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year, and teachers still look forward to the program as much today as they did when it was first started.”



Three great programs round out the month of June at the Riverlands

Questions about canning? Wondering what butterflies are in your backyard?
Make plans to attend one of these great programs at the Susquehanna Riverlands.

Saving Your Surplus: Food Preservation Techniques
Friday, June 17
5-6:30 p.m.
Susquehanna Energy Information Center
Presenter: Tonya Sagar, PPL Riverlands Naturalist

Enjoy your favorite foods year-round. The class is appropriate for any level of canning enthusiast. Even veteran canners can learn some tricks from Tonya. She’ll describe the history of canning and provide some unique recipes as well as describe other ways to save your fruits and vegetables such as fermentation, dehydration and root cellars. This program will be very interactive. For more information, please call 1-866-832-3312 or email

18th Annual Fourth of July Butterfly Count
Saturday, June 18
8:30 a.m.
Susquehanna Energy Information Center
Presenter: Nancy Dennis
Preregistration is appreciated. Call toll-free 1-866-832-3312.

In an age of shrinking habitat and disappearing species, it is important to keep track of the health and numbers of wild populations. Have you ever wondered how that is accomplished? Who is out there counting? Well, it could be you, if you join us for our annual butterfly count. Previous counts have tallied 30 different species including monarchs, tiger swallowtails, and more.

The program is open to the public. Some knowledge of butterfly species is helpful, though not vital. We are mainly looking for dedicated people with a love for butterflies, the ability to handle some moderately hilly terrain and a willingness to help. Information collected in this count will be reported to and compiled by the North American Butterfly Association.

Participants should bring binoculars and a field guide if they have them, water and a light lunch. There is a $3 participation fee, which will go to NABA. Because of the way the count is conducted, large Scouting groups or other organizations cannot be accommodated.

For more information, contact Nancy Dennis at (570) 759-1590.

 Growing Up Wild
Friday, June 24
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Susquehanna Energy Information Center
Presenter: Diane Madl, Environmental Education Specialist,
Nescopeck State Park
Preregistration is required. Call toll-free 1-866-832-3312.

Learn how to build on young children’s sense of wonder about nature and invite them to explore wildlife and the world around them. During the five-hour workshop, participants will sample activities and receive a curriculum and activity guide. Activities are designed for 3-7 year olds and are correlated to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards and the Head Start Domains. Teachers, informal educators and early childhood caregivers may take the training.
ACT 48 credits are available to participating teachers. This program is PQAS (PA Quality Assurance System) approved. Space is limited and you must preregister. To register, call the Riverlands at 1-866-832-3312.