Getting Kids Excited about Space and Color

Our on-going relationship with The National Space Academy in UK has seen some amazing results this year as thousands of students have experienced chemistry masterclasses!

The Academy uses exciting space science and technology to engage young people with the science curriculum as well as developing their confidence in and knowledge of STEM subjects.

Supporting Next Generation of Scientists

Together with our UK colleagues, the National Space Academy set up The PPG Chemistry Education Project to enable more schools to access the masterclasses full of experiments. Since 2017 these masterclasses link the science and engineering of PPG with space science and technology to engage young people with the science curriculum!

Peter Waites, raw materials platform manager, architectural coatings EMEA, is an enthusiastic supporter of the masterclasses and is actively involved:

I was asked by the local coordinator to observe a session, give some feedback and to increase PPG’s direct involvement in the program. Also, my son’s school was taking part, so the opportunity was too good to miss!

Secrets of Colors and Materials

In 2018, more than 3,400 students from 62 schools across the UK were engaged with the inspiring masterclasses.  They are taught by experienced and enthusiastic teachers with a history of outstanding practice.

The masterclass was excellent, very well presented and the content was very age appropriate.  The session looks at the relationship between color and heat absorption and reflection.

– Adds Peter Waites, PPG raw materials platform manager, architectural coatings EMEA

Peter gives us even more detail as to how the children are engaged in space science and the importance of color.

As he explains, the session begins with asking the students what space craft all have in common. They are all white!  To explore the reasons behind this, the students are given cards ranging from black through to shades of grey to white.  The cards are then painted with a heat sensitive paint on one side and then placed at a fixed distance from a heat source. Thanks to this experiment, children can see that black heats up more quickly than white and that white reflects more heat – and that’s why space craft are white!

Making Us #PPGProud

The masterclasses offer a practical application of science and help develop enthusiasm for learning.

This is something I’m really passionate about. It’s great for PPG to get involved at a grass root level and encourage science at an early age in schools.