Saint Francis University School of Steam receives FirstEnergy Foundation grant for student and science teacher outreach

University Communications & Marketing | 03/10/2023

The Saint Francis University School of STEAM was recently awarded a grant from the FirstEnergy Foundation to offer professional development opportunities for middle and high school science teachers with enhanced learning opportunities for their students at no cost. The workshop series aligns with one of the Foundation’s top priorities – “empowering our communities’ workforce development and educational initiatives.”  

During the project, teachers from school districts throughout Blair County will partner with STEAM faculty from Saint Francis University and STEM-related businesses to create a sharable teaching module for teachers to effect change on current and future students. The program will include three individual workshops held between April and September at the University’s Curry Innovation Center in Downtown Altoona. Integrated with the new science standards, teacher and student participants will focus on space content and careers and create sustainable ecosystems for the moon and Earth.

The Space, Sustainability, and Standards (SSS) Workshop series will kick off on April 19. Teachers and students will engage with the Moonshot Museum to peer through the clouds at ice caps, clouds, forests, farmlands and more. On June 5, those same teachers will gather with Saint Francis STEAM faculty and the AIU8 to develop classroom lessons that ensure delivery of the Pennsylvania Integrated Standards for Science, Environment, and Ecology for grades 6–12. Finally, during the capstone event on September 20, teachers will bring a group of students to refine their academic delivery by applying the new science standards in a hands-on learning environment.  

To Register:

The SSS workshop series is open to Blair County upper middle and high school science teachers.  

Each district can register teams of 3-5 teachers representing each of the natural, physical, and earth science disciplines. Districts can also register up to 10 students to attend both the first and last workshops only. All workshops will include lunch.  

The deadline to register for the SSS Workshop Series is March 31.  Registration may be found at 

The FirstEnergy Foundation is funded solely by FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) and provides support to tax-exempt nonprofits, including health and human services agencies, educational organizations, cultural and arts programs and institutions, and civic groups in areas served by FirstEnergy's 10 electric operating companies and in areas where the company conducts business. 

FirstEnergy Check Presentation
(L to R) Dr. Frank Montecalvo, Vice President for Strategic Partnerships & Student Development at Saint Francis University; James Crowder, Regional External Affairs, First Energy; and  Dr. Pete Skoner, Dean of the School of STEAM


About the Curry Innovation Center

Opened in 2022, the Saint Francis University Curry Innovation Center, located in downtown Altoona, Pennsylvania, is a facility where education and industry converge to fuel innovation and drive growth. The space is specifically designed to bring together students, researchers, entrepreneurs, and industry experts to collaborate, learn, and create. Learn more at