ENGINE of Central PA

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


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.

To enhance innovation, entrepreneurship, and further 21st century skills – critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication, ENGINE of Central PA is committed to:

Building a cr0ss-sector 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 arts, makery, outdoor learning, science, student voice, and technology 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 – including opportunities for students to obtain artifacts for their career portfolio through the Career Ready PA Backpack Challenge. 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 with Central Intermediate Unit 10 & Tuscarora Intermediate Unit 11, and will expand to others in subsequent years.


  • Amanda Smith, Executive Director of ENGINE of Central PA, and Director of K-12 Engagement at Penn State University amandasmith@psu.edu  
  • Dr. Kathy Hill, Broader Impacts Director, and Director of Penn State Center for Science and the Schools, kathyhill@psu.edu
  • Mike Baker, Regional Director, Central Intermediate Unit 10
  • Dr. Lauren Beal, Regional Director of Lebanon County, Lancaster/Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13
  • Michele Crowl, Executive Director of Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania
  • Tiffany Lewis, CSO Coordinator, Penn State Center for Science and the Schools
  • Annie Milewski, Regional Director, Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29
  • Jessica Rice, Director of Education, Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts
  • Sue Voigt, Regional Director, Capitol Area Intermediate Unit 15
  • Peney Wright, Regional Director, Tuscarora Intermediate Unit 11

For more information about ENGINE and complete list of partners, please visit: https://www.enginecentralpa.org/