The PPG Industries Foundation has donated $50,000 to Discovery Place’s new professional development program for educators of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The new program, which will be housed at the Bank of America STEM Center for Career Development adjacent to Discovery Place’s complex in uptown Charlotte, N.C., will be dedicated to providing pre-K through 12th-grade STEM educators with intensive learning experiences and ongoing support.
“PPG’s generous donation is helping Discovery Place in its endeavor to expand professional development programs for teachers and other instructional leaders across the Carolinas,” said Catherine Wilson Horne, new president and CEO of Discovery Place, Inc. “By developing top-tier teachers through the new center, Discovery Place will continue to help young people strengthen their science literacy so they can become tomorrow’s engineers and scientists supporting employers such as PPG.”
PPG’s support will enable educators from schools, museums, science centers and zoos throughout North and South Carolina to participate in the professional development programs Discovery Place will offer through the new center. The programs aim to raise students’ abilities in STEM disciplines by helping educators develop STEM content knowledge, effective teaching practices and confidence in teaching STEM disciplines. Participants will have access to Discovery Place’s extensive natural sciences collection, hands-on labs and interactive exhibits, and partners from businesses, colleges and universities will help the center stay current on emerging STEM issues and knowledge.
With programs expected to be available to educators beginning in spring 2014, it is estimated that the new center will serve about 5,000 educators throughout North and South Carolina over the next five years, impacting as many as 375,000 students in that time.
“As a company dedicated to innovation and serving the communities in which we operate, Discovery Place’s new educator development center is an exciting project to be a part of,” said Sue Sloan, executive director, PPG Industries Foundation. “Providing students in the Carolinas with well-trained, top-notch STEM teachers and the support to excel in these critical fields is important to the vitality of the region and of companies like PPG that do business here.”
Established in 1951, the PPG Industries Foundation demonstrates the values of PPG Industries by enhancing the quality of life in communities where the company has a presence. Interests of the foundation, in order of priority, are education, human services, culture and arts, and civic and community affairs. PPG also supports charitable causes by encouraging employees' volunteerism and board service with nonprofit organizations.