ENGINE of Central PA

Central Pennsylvania Counties: Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry and Schuylkill


ENGINE of Central PA: Empowering the Next Generation of Innovators and Entrepreneurs (ENGINE) of Central PA

ENGINE of Central PA is one of the few university-led ecosystems to bring meaningful STEM research and innovations to K-12 education. Led by Penn State Center for Science and the Schools, an executive team of Intermediate Units, business/industry, and science centers/museums, and collaborations with community partners and organizations, our network builds a community of lifelong learners that promotes equitable access to meaningful transdisciplinary experiences. We strive to empower youth living and working in our region to be innovative problem-solvers, ready to succeed in careers of tomorrow.

ENGINE of Central PA is comprised of the following counties in Pennsylvania impacting over 160,000 students and 11,000 educators: Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry, and Schuylkill.

Currently, ENGINE of Central PA is part of the broader impacts and outreach components of several NSF, NIH, and USDA grants through Penn State University as a strategic pathway to reach more youth and educators in our region to bridge research and education in STEM. The most recent funded awards includes a NSF MRSEC and NIH SEPA.

Other large-scale initiatives to build back better and enhance STEM, entrepreneurship, and further 21st century skills for the betterment of our future workforce include:

Building a collaborative network of organizations and people utilizing the 100Kin10 Grand Challenges in STEM: The Influencers Asset Map helps organizations address Grand Challenges in STEM with the 100Kin10 Framework and connects organizations for future cross-sector partnership work. Through the asset mapping process, project teams arose comprised of small groups of individuals who collaborate on focused areas of the ecosystem that address the 100kin10 Grand Challenges in STEM, such as: Future of Work, Life Science Consortium, and Family Engagement.

Providing equitable access to STEM experiences for all students: Remake Learning Days of Central PA with Remake Learning Days Across America is a festival for youth, families, teachers, and community to remake learning – opportunities range from arts, STEM, maker, student voice, professional development, and much more. Remake Learning Days Across America takes place annually in April and May.

 Supporting youth leadership and voice to enrich school STEM culture and career awareness: Chief Science Officers Program (CSO) prepares student leaders to facilitate STEM experiences in their schools and build regional partnerships to impact their student body. The International CSOs collaborate and are provided with the opportunity to meet annually with leaders of the National Science and Technology Council of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. The CSO Program launches in January 2021 in seven counties within ENGINE of Central PA.

 Strengthening career readiness with K-12:

Siemens is actively working to address gaps in pathways to workforce opportunities by helping to organize and align the local resources, energy and expertise of public, private, non-profit, and philanthropic organizations. Siemens provides highly effective educational consulting and national programs (both degree and certificate) to develop valuable career pathways where we identify strong areas of need such as: renewable energy infrastructure, health sciences technology, digitalization and data analytics, smart buildings, industrial and cloud cybersecurity, smart connected community, and advanced manufacturing.


Amanda Smith
STEM Outreach and Engagement Liaison
Penn State Center for Science and the Schools