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In Our Community

UGI is Proud to Help Students SHINE

15 Jan 2024

UGI Utilities is dedicated to setting local students up for success in both their current academic journeys and their careers that lie ahead. With a focus on building future leaders and inspiring future STEM professionals, UGI Utilities is making a concentrated investment into the next generation and future potential workforce through Pennsylvania’s Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program.

Children in quality afterschool programs are more likely to come to school, stay in school, complete homework, and get better grades. Through the EITC program, UGI Utilities is proud to support Wilkes University’s Schools and Homes in Education (SHINE), which is a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) project-based afterschool program for students in grades Pre-K to 12 in six school districts throughout Luzerne County. Over 500 students, most of whom are low-income and academically at-risk, completed project-based STEAM activities afterschool for up to four days per week during the 2022-2023 school year.

Students in the program meet three hours a day, four days a week, and are provided with 25 minutes of homework assistance, enjoy a hot meal, and participate in a STEAM-based project. Some of the activities elementary students worked on this year included learning about ocean habitats, making dinosaur fossils, and creating Valentine’s Day 3-D hearts. Middle schoolers explored robotics, paper airplanes, building wood and glass candy dispensers, planting seeds, and more.

In addition to afterschool programming, our EITC partnership supports SHINE’s annual STEM Olympiad and College for a Day programs, which help to keep students engaged and excited about learning all year long.

The STEM Olympiad program encourages increased critical thinking and collaboration abilities in a team environment through hands-on, real world STEM projects. During STEM Olympiad, students participate in a fun-filled day of STEM activities, including the Egg Drop Challenge, Cricket Wicket, Rain Gutter Regatta, and See It Build It. At the end of the day, students win Olympiad medals and prizes.

Through the College for a Day program, students in first through eighth grade take a tour of Wilkes University, including real student dorm rooms. Students learn about different career paths by meeting professors and current students. During last year’s program, participants took a psychology class and learned about taste buds during a science experiment where they taste tested lemon juice, vinegar, and coffee. They also spent time in a biology class using microscopes to view insects, organisms, and local water samples. This program points students toward higher education while showing the vast opportunities and careers that are available to them.

UGI Utilities is proud to support SHINE’s efforts to Fuel Our Future by inspiring the next generation of leaders and STEM professionals through engaging projects and experiences.

Follow UGI Utilities on Facebook (@UGIUtilities), Twitter (@UGI_Utilities) and Instagram (@ugiutilities) or visit https://www.ugi.com/community-programs to learn more about how UGI supports the community.