Penn Yan Middle School is the recipient of a $20,000 grant from Project Lead The Way (PLTW) to implement the organization’s premier career learning curriculum for its students and better prepare their students for future success.

This new grant was made possible by a donation from Greenidge Generation, an environmentally-sound power-generation facility in Dresden.

“This partnership with Penn Yan Middle School through Project Lead the Way is especially exciting for us because one of our very own associates is a graduate of the PLTW program. We’re honored to be able to expose the next generation to the possibilities for their futures in STEM fields,” said Dale Irwin, CEO of Greenidge Generation.

PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for PreK-12 students and teachers across the United States. Through PLTW’s pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, PreK-12 students learn problem-solving strategies, critical and creative thinking, and how to communicate and collaborate. Students engage in hands-on learning and explore activities, projects, and problems reflective of real-world scenarios and careers.

Penn Yan Middle School joins more than 11,500 schools across the U.S. offering PLTW programs to its students.

The Penn Yan Central School Communities Mission and Vision statements are to Engage, Educate, Empower, and Enrich, Every Student, Every Day. To effectively carry out this mission and vision, the school has a number of core commitments, one of which is collaborating with local and global partners to create opportunities for students to explore, develop, and share their unique interests and passions. 

School representatives say this donation from Greenidge Generation will allow educators to expand the successful Penn Yan Academy PLTW Engineering and Biomedical Science programs into the Middle School through enhanced curriculum and a strong, new community partnership. 

Students will have the opportunity to interact with Greenidge Generation staff and to visit the power plant and see the curriculum come to life. The school is implementing the Magic of Electrons Unit into the 7 th grade science curriculum this school year, and an additional PLTW unit will be added in the 19–20 school year which will further build the foundation for our PYA Engineering and Biomedical Science PLTW Sequences. 

Funds from the grant will be used specifically to start the PLTW Gateway Program at Penn Yan Middle School. It will cover program expenses such as annual program fees, teacher professional development, and required classroom equipment and materials.

The PLTW Gateway program is designed for middle school students, tapping into this transitional time in their education when they are exploring to find their passions. The program seeks to empower students to lead their own discovery. The hands-on program boosts classroom engagement and excitement, drives collaboration, and inspires “aha! moments” and deep comprehension. As students engage in PLTW’s activities in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, they see a range of paths and possibilities they can look forward to in high school and beyond.

“Project Lead The Way is committed to providing a transformative educational experience that empowers students to prepare for and thrive in an evolving world,” said PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. “We are grateful for the truly unique partnership demonstrated by Greenidge Generation in making these grants possible. Their approach, which involves not only creating access to PLTW programs in their local community through monetary support, but also providing real-world experiences and engagement through their associates, will inspire students in true career learning opportunities.”

Find more information about Project Lead The Way, at or contact Jennifer Erbacher, PLTW senior director of communications, at

Penn Yan Middle School (6–8) uses an interdisciplinary team approach for its approximately 314 students.