PPG announced the opening and continued support of the PPG STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Studio, an interactive space at the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock, Arkansas, designed for hands-on, interactive exploration of science and technology. The project was funded by the PPG Foundation, which focuses on initiatives that prepare today’s students, especially from underrepresented communities, for STEM-related careers.

In the PPG STEAM studio, guests of all ages can use a variety of tools and materials to design and create flying machines, zoetropes, chain reactions, and more while learning to become problem solvers and innovators. PPG is sponsoring the space as well as providing free trips and admission to the museum for students from area Title 1 schools. Title 1 schools are those where 40% of the student population come from families that qualify as “low income.” PPG’s donation will also underwrite teacher training and Girls in STEM programming, including opportunities for mentors, at the museum.

“We’re proud to partner with the Museum of Discovery to bring this incredible space to life,” said Malesia Dunn, executive director, PPG Foundation. “Part of our mission as a company is to inspire the next generation of scientists, chemists, and engineers as well as to support the communities in which we live and work. This dynamic space will empower students and others in the Little Rock area with real-world skills and problem-solving strategies that will keep the Museum of Discovery on the cutting edge of STEAM learning.”

In addition to the STEAM studio, PPG has also funded an exterior mural for the museum designed to engage the imagination of the community and ignite a passion for science. The mural is composed of a series of 45 brightly painted, rectangular panels depicting happy, engaged children’s faces plus imagery of science, engineering, technology, arts, and math. Designed by local artist Matt McLeod, the individual panels were painted by PPG volunteers as part of the PPG COLORFUL COMMUNITIES program. 

“PPG has been a wonderful partner and collaborator in this important work,” said Kelley Bass, chief executive officer, Museum of Discovery. “Their donation of both time and money is helping the museum play an important role in increasing science literacy and expanding learning opportunities for students and others with a passion for discovery. In a very real way, PPG’s contributions are also bringing color and brightness to the community.”

Juanjo Ardid, vice president of PPG’s Protective and Marine Coatings business, dedicated the STEAM studio at a ribbon cutting ceremony with Museum representatives, local PPG employees, and elected officials.

For more information, visit: https://communities.ppg.com.