The Three Little Pigs, the Three Billy Goats Gruff and Rapunzel aren’t just familiar figures from fairy tales. They’re helping first-graders learn about science and math, too.

Lynette Miller, a teacher at Fermanagh-Mifflintown Elementary School in Juniata County, is using fairy tale-themed kits that teach basic science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts. Each kit features a problem children have to solve, and teaches them about the design process, creativity, and cause and effect.

In one lesson, children are challenged to design a stable chair for Papa Bear in “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” In another, a gingerbread man has to cross the water, and students have to figure out how to get him there.

Miller purchased the kits using a $1,000 Empowering Educators grant from the PPL Foundation. The foundation awards 25 grants each year to help teachers in central and eastern Pennsylvania spark their kids’ imaginations with creative, hands-on STEM projects.

“Supporting STEM education now will pay off with a strong, well-educated workforce in the future,” said Tracie Witter, our regional affairs director for the Mifflintown area. “We’re pleased to support creative, engaging projects like the ones that are helping Lynette Miller’s students learn about problem-solving.”

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 $6 million to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations in eastern and central Pennsylvania.

Pictured below, left to right: Students Neikalyx Ibarra and Josh Alonzo, with teacher Lynette Miller, making a chair stable enough to hold Papa Bear in the story “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”