ppg program

PPG Foundation Transforms High-Needs STEM Classrooms

As a science and technology company, PPG is proud to invest in the next generation of scientists, creators, and engineers. Last winter, PPG Foundation, the philanthropic arm of a leading paint and coating manufacturer, awarded five STEM grants to four high-needs schools in communities where they operate. 

According to teachers, extra support has been essential this school year. While most schools are back to in-person learning, the pandemic is still impacting classrooms and teachers’ workloads in significant ways. According to AdoptAClassroom.org’s State of Teaching Survey, 71% of teachers said they are spending more money on classroom materials this school year. 78% of teachers said they need more supplies due to learning loss caused by COVID-19. 

PPG STEM Grants  were disbursed to the teachers as flexible funding through AdoptAClassroom.org. That means teachers had the ability to  choose  the tools and materials they needed most to enrich their students’ STEM learning. With the PPG Foundation funding,  the teachers have made transformational changes to their classrooms.  Not  only were  teachers able to serve more students with their STEM curriculum, teachers also saw increased  engagement in STEM learning from their current students.  Here are just two of the classrooms PPG supported this year:

Afterschool Robotics Program at Morris Middle School

Bonnie is a teacher in Huntsville, AL. Last winter, she received a STEM grant from the PPG Foundation through AdoptAClassroom.org. Bonnie runs an after-school robotics program and spent the donation on new robotics kits and surge protectors for her middle schoolers. With these new supplies, Bonnie reported her students feeling more engaged in STEM learning. 

Hear Bonnie’s story:

Library STEM Makeover at Chapman Middle School

Kayla is a teacher-librarian at Chapman Middle School in Huntsville, AL. With her classroom donation from PPG,  Kayla was able to purchase supplies for her library, including STEM materials such as robotics, engineering, and video production kits. She also used the funds to outfit the library with flexible seating to allow for better group collaboration. 

Now, science classes visit the library to use the STEM kits to apply what they’re learning in the classroom in real world situations. 

“Our library was in need of a facelift to make it a more modern media center. The furniture and equipment we were able to purchase with our PPG grant has improved the library tremendously. It is now much more inviting and allows students to collaborate with each other and apply concepts they have learned in the classroom,” Kayla shared.

computer on a desk

Science Lab at Pittsburgh Carmalt Academy of Science & Technology

Lorie is an educator at Pittsburgh Carmalt Academy of Science & Technology in Pittsburgh, PA. She purchased a variety of items to enhance her large science lab.

“I replenished my microscope slides and was even able to order five new microscopes. I only had five working microscopes, and with a class size of 24-28, it was very hard to complete the biology labs.”

Lorie also purchased tables, stools, and flexible seating for her room. This re-arrangement provides new opportunities for students working in groups to spread out and engage in scientific collaboration. 

students using flexible seating

​”My students want to be in my classroom, and they are so excited every time a new box gets delivered,” Lorie said. “It is great to see them take ownership of projects because it leads to a sense of community in our space, which is exactly what all of us need right now.” 

Learn more about how PPG invests in STEM education across the globe here.