Getting the opportunity to experience something that can show you a world of new possibilities can make a long and positive impression on you when you are young. That’s why this summer, through our community engagement grant, we supported II Summer School aTTitude3D in Portugal.
This meant the kids got the chance to try different experiments with chemicals in PPG as well as learn and practice programming with our mentors’ robots.
Our support included a week of sponsored activities, extra “missing” equipment in the “Lab Attitude 3D” classroom, on-site Science4you
activities, and a very special gift each – more on that later!
New Skills, New Possibilities
Like us, this project shares our commitment to providing young people with real hands-on experience in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Eight of our colleagues from Architectural Coatings in Sacavem, Portugal gave 12 young students from the Loures municipality valuable tools and knowledge for their future.
To try and cram as much as possible into just a week, the course took a modular approach. This included workshops to familiarize the students with their new tools. They also received mentoring and undertook activities in their school’s “Lab Attitude 3D” classroom and at our premises. Our colleagues shared useful know-how that would normally take them years to acquire.
Enthusiasm Is Infectious
Two of the team guiding the students through this hands-on, intensive and fun learning experience were Rogerio Duarte, PPG technical services technician, and Joana Seixas Pedrosa, PPG product manager. They were able to share their love of what they do with the young mentees and inspire them.
Never a Dull Moment
Joana works in the marketing department, where she juggles several roles such as finding the best products for customers, pricing, planning and training. Although she wears many hats, it is this diversity that she finds most enjoyable. The students got a real sneak peek into what goes on in her professional world and how big a role education plays in it.
Rogerio’s role is also as varied as Joana’s. His working day sees him dealing with professional painters one minute and providing paint schemes, testing products, training customers, and more, the next. As he explained to the students, these kinds of experiences and opportunities mean you never know where your career may take you.
The Cyber Boot Is on the Other Foot
For one activity, Joana needed to team up with the students to program a robot for a competition. But, it ended up being the students who were ‘mentoring’ our colleagues on how to program the robots! This was an experience that Joanna absolutely loved.
Rogerio was also amazed at how much focus and ingenuity the students displayed. Despite their youth, they were able to lead a team effectively, and he got a real insight into their thinking processes. After this week, he now has a better understanding of how these students approach problems. It was a true two-way learning curve for all.