PPG has partnered with the National Space Academy to inspire young people to pursue STEM and space-sector careers through a series of chemistry masterclasses.


To launch the programme, PPG hosted an exclusive preview event at its UK manufacturing facility in Birstall on 3rd February. Local schools were invited to the taster session, where they conducted experiments and learnt about the key role colour plays in space exploration. Experiments included ‘How to survive re-entry’, where pupils created their own thermal protection units to understand how space crafts are designed to withstand high temperatures at extreme speeds.


Aimed at school years six to nine, the PPG-sponsored, Academy masterclasses have been designed to give key stage two and three students a unique look at colour and material in the context of space. The new masterclasses will be delivered by the Academy’s 25-strong team of expert science teachers from across the UK.


50 partially-funded sessions are up for grabs for schools throughout the UK & Ireland who are interested in bringing the Academy masterclasses to their pupils. An additional 10 fully-funded sessions are available on a first come first served basis for education providers within a 10 mile radius of PPG’s manufacturing facilities in Birstall and Morley.

The masterclasses will feature a number of practical experiments to help students understand why certain colours are used most frequently in space projects, and be able to answer questions like: ‘Why are NASA’s rockets painted white?”. Through the link with PPG, pupils will get the opportunity to make their own paints and test them to see how different colours absorb heat radiation.


Paul Dowie, HR Director at PPG, said: “Engaging children in STEM subjects at an early age is essential to building a skilled workforce in years to come. But this isn’t just down to educators, businesses can also do their part in making students more aware of the opportunities available to those who pursue STEM-based learning.


“Teaming up with the National Space Academy to create these chemistry masterclasses means we can bring to life the scientific principles students study in school and textbooks through practical, exciting demonstrations within the context of something as stimulating as space travel.”


Andy McMurray, Head of Teaching and Learning at the National Space Academy, added: “It’s incredible how much of UK industry is involved in the space sector so we want to raise awareness of the diversity of these opportunities for all young people. Partnering with a leading brand like PPG provides great commercial context to the science we are teaching and shows pupils how chemistry works outside the classroom.”


To register your school’s interest in the new PPG sponsored, Academy masterclasses, visit: nationalspaceacademy.org/ppg