Sustainable living workshops, interactive learning stations, vegetable boxes and a riveting performance by the East Point Tri-Cities High school drumline all created a memorable STREAM Activities Day at Hamilton E. Holmes Elementary, nearby the PPG coatings manufacturing facility in East Point, Georgia. Together PPG employees, representatives from The Home Depot, East Point Mayor Deana Holiday Ingraham and nearly 600 elementary students united for immersive Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STREAM) learning experiences.
“This was the best day I ever had,” said several of the students from grades pre-K to four. As part of the event, the school parking lot was set up in stations where each student was greeted with a school supply giftbag equipped with a flash drive, headphones, notebook, paper, pencils, and crayons to mention a few, donated by The Home Depot and PPG.
Next, they were led through “PPG STREAM University,” including 13 interactive stations, spending 15 minutes at each, facilitated by PPG East Point plant and PPG Black Employee Network (BEN) employees to spark student interest in sustainable living.
At one station, PPG employees created science-related experiences to demonstrate how the body is structured and how the foods we eat affect the body. Using a mini human skeleton, the students learned anatomy by seeing, touching and feeling the model. Next was a squishy skeleton where students were tasked with placing the organs in their proper place within the body cavity. This station helped them learn the importance of taking care of the body by exercising and making healthy choices.
In other areas of the PPG STREAM University, students experienced the real-world implications of their STEM studies by experiencing the mini-robot station, the students learned how coding works and how it relates to the cell phones and computers they use. At the engineering station, the PPG volunteer asked the question, “What do you think an engineer does?” This led to meaningful conversations about the different career choices within the engineering field. Specifically, mechanical, automotive, computer and chemical engineering were discussed to reiterate the necessity to do well in their STEM learning.
The Interactive reading and coloring book stations appealed to their cognitive creative side as the importance of reading was emphasized. Each student was asked ‘Why is reading important to you?’ The students answers were heartfelt as they learned to connect that reading well in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math will aid them in the career of their choosing.
Some students expressed that they wanted to learn more about science because they wanted ‘to be a doctor and help people’ or become an engineer ‘because I want to build buildings.’
The students were not the only ones moved by the day, “These types of experiences are extremely impactful and will truly help transform our community,” attested Mayor Ingraham. The STREAM Activities Day touched everyone that was involved.
With a strong community presence for over 70 years, PPG’s East Point coatings facility strives to seek and maintain relationships that have real impact, according to Marsha Mosley, senior distribution manager. Mosley shared that the Hamilton E. Holmes Elementary School has nearly 100% disadvantaged and underserved students.
“Our goal was not to only educate them in sustainable activities such as planting gardens to beautify their outer surroundings, but to also benefit their inner being-letting them know that there are people that truly care about them,” said Mosley.
To learn more about how PPG employees serve their local communities, click here.