ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Hundreds of students in the Allentown School District are thinking outside the box.

Students from both high schools and all four middle schools are taking part in a science fair here in the Allen High gym.

School officials say they haven't been able to have a district-wide science fair like this in in a very long time.

Kelly Murray, Director of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math said, "To be able to get students engaged in what they're learning and doing hands-on project-based learning is really a great way for students to learn. And we're hoping to be able to inspire some future scientists."

Allentown is one of three cities that was recently chosen to lead a national mentoring movement.

With the help of federal funding, officials are hoping to partner with local organizations so students can see how science activities can be applied in real life.