(L to R) Tracie Witter, PPL; Mel Zimmerman, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Lycoming College, Leslie Rieck, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, Lycoming College; Daisey Leblanc ’24, biology major and German minor, Lycoming College; Allison Butler ’24, biology major with secondary education certification, Lycoming College
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Lycoming College received a generous contribution of $10,000 from PPL to support high school-level educational programming at the Waterdale Environmental Center (WEEC), a joint effort between Lycoming College’s Clean Water Institute (CWI) and the Williamsport Municipal Water Authority (WMWA). The gift has been made through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC), of which the WEEC is a qualifying program. The EITC program offers businesses a credit to lower their tax liability through donations to educational enrichment initiatives such as the WEEC.
The WEEC, located in the pristine and beautiful mountain valley of the Mosquito Creek Watershed near the WMWA Filtration Plant, provides a cooperative collaboration of public water supply utilities, academic resources, and local and state conservation agencies and organizations. This partnership provides opportunities for community education and outreach programs that emphasize the science and importance of good stewardship and protection of our natural resources and public water supply sources.
A portion of a PPL 2018 Sustaining Grant to Lycoming College supported the development of a written curriculum for use with high school students at WEEC. The EITC funds will allow for the fullest implementation of this curriculum and a richer educational impact for high school students through the acquisition of age-appropriate equipment, instruments, and nature signage.
Expanding the WEEC’s well-established hands-on learning opportunities, the new equipment will include dissection microscopes; a portable and rechargeable SMART water testing kit; a portable flow meter to measure streamflow velocity; mini stream tables for demonstration of erosion, drainage, delta formation, and other stream processes; binoculars; and water quality saddle bags allowing for the transport of samples for water chemistry analysis back to the classroom.
“This EITC contribution provides the ability for expansion of hands-on materials to engage outreach programming for K-12 students,” said Mel Zimmerman, Ph.D., CWI founder and professor emeritus. “We are incredibly appreciative of PPL’s contribution supporting Waterdale Environmental Education Center programming, which will further our initiatives for an individualized and interactive environment.”
PPL empowers communities by supporting student success from cradle to career, advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and promoting the development of vibrant and sustainable communities.
“Lycoming College is dedicated to science, technology, engineering, and math through its strong curriculum in these fields,” said Tracie Witter, Regional Affairs Director at PPL. “It is using PPL Foundation EITC funds to purchase equipment used by their students to teach high school age students at Waterdale. PPL is proud to support a program which allows college students to share their expertise in ecology and the young adults to learn directly from them in a hands-on manner. Empowering our communities in this way is at the heart of what the PPL Foundation does.”