Published: February 07, 2020
Published: February 07, 2020

Vyacheslav and Maria Bring the Right Chemistry for Russian Students

There is a lot to be said for getting the right opportunities to learn and develop new scientific skills when you are young. Many times the chemistry students of today become the pioneers of tomorrow. Therefore, when our Russian colleagues helped one secondary school in Lipetsk, Russia, become the proud owner of new state-of-the-art chemistry equipment and laptops, we knew that sparks of inspiration were going to fly… quite literally!

Despite working at different sites around Russia, Vyacheslav Sobin and Maria Bauman came together to help out the school. Maria is our HR specialist, based in Moscow, and her job is to know everything about everyone! Hours, vacations, business trips, company cars, sickness, you name it – it all goes through her. But her favorite part is organizing events and celebrations.

When she’s not at work, she visits art galleries, theatres and museums, and even explores abandoned historic buildings and hidden courtyards in her beloved Moscow. Her dog and cats are no doubt excited to see her when she gets home.

Vyacheslav is our Lipetsk purchasing manager, who describes his job as “solving unsolvable problems”. He spends his time communicating with a lot of people and finding creative ways out of difficult situations. Outside of work, he likes traveling, meeting new people and exploring the unknown.

As they are such adventurous, curious, and creative people… who better to come together to help out a local school?

The Team Go Back to School

Gymnasium #12 in Lipetsk is a state lyceum, a secondary school with around 1,100 pupils. It is one of the oldest in the region and celebrated its centenary in 2018. The school recently won the Russia-wide ‘Successful School’ competition, which places its focus on not just exam results and university applicants, but on a school’s dedication to the field of technology and personal success.

Dedicated to supporting chemical and IT education in the Lipetsk region, Maria and Vyacheslav heard their calling.

An Education for a Better Future

Thanks to a PPG community engagement grant, the pair was thrilled to support the school’s chemistry room. They were able to buy lab equipment for chemical experiments, research, projects and laboratory works, as well as modern computers for scientific experiments (both in and out of class).

More than 170 students each year, who will benefit from the equipment, will have access to the information and apparatus they need to develop their curiosity, skills and passion for chemistry. They can do research, take field measurements, perform chemistry experiments, carry out laboratory work, and even support their own personal projects.

Modern society cannot do without modern technologies. Unfortunately, not every school can afford modern equipment in every class. The children can now have the education they dreamed of.

Laboratory 2.0: The Big Opening

The project brought innovation to the Lipetsk site’s local community, which was greatly appreciated during the opening ceremony, also organized by Maria.

It was really fun. We had chemical tricks, quizzes, and games. The children were happy and laughed a lot.

The deputy governor of the economy, the deputy minister of education, the head of the special economic zone, and the acting chairman of the administrative department of Lipetsk all attended the opening.

We believe that young people build the future. By helping the younger generation – we invest in our own future.
Igor Tokarev, Plant Manager

Maria and Vyacheslav: Reflections on a Job Well Done

A big theme for both of our PPG stars was teamwork, which really helped them – in the spirit of The PPG Way – to Make It Happen. They could never have managed so much in such little time without the collaborative efforts of “the best team ever”.

When you feel the shoulder of your colleague, when you know you can count on them – that is real happiness. It seemed impossible, but together we did it.

The most surprising and exciting outcome of the event was the children’s excursion to our local plant to see what we do and how we do it.

Their sincere interest in our production and in chemistry is so gratifying. Above all, this donation is about the teenagers’ education. An education that will lead them on towards a great future. I am proud that the company I work for supports students in my hometown.