Fractured Physics 

PPG Partners with Science Center to Launch glass-shattering Program

A science program touring elementary schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia is shattering common misconceptions about glass and physics. Fractured Physics is an interactive program that provides a fresh look at Newton's Three Laws of Motion and examines new developments in glass technology. 
Children learn about physics during several interactive presentations.  

PPG scientists worked closely with Carnegie Science Center educators to develop physics lessons geared to the students.

Fractured Physics is the second in a series of four educational outreach programs that are a collaboration between PPG Industries, the PPG Industries Foundation and the Carnegie Science Center of Pittsburgh. The programs travel to schools throughout the region presenting science lessons in a fun and entertaining way. During the summer of 2006, PPG announced a grant of $583,000 to support this program over a period of four years.

"PPG actively supports educational programs that emphasize science and technology with the goal of enticing and interesting young people to pursue careers in the sciences," said Sue Sloan, executive director for the PPG Foundation. "Partnering with the Carnegie Science Center was a great fit."

More than 100 PPG scientists, technical and marketing personnel have provided input and expertise to the programs, as well as appear in videotaped portions of the program. The program explores the many uses and properties of modern glass with assistance of puppet sidekick "Dr. Ace von Cluck." Demonstrations range from explaining hair-thin fiber-optic cables to the technology behind shatter-resistant auto windshields, to the heat resistance of foam glass insulation used on the exterior of NASA's space shuttle.

A highly-interactive, multimedia presentation, Fractured Physics takes students into laboratories to meet real chemists and engineers from PPG, working on cutting-edge glass technology, into the studios of Pittsburgh Glass Center to meet a glass artisan, and even into outer space to examine how glass plays a role in NASA space exploration.

A dozen hands-on demonstrations provide students a first-hand look at the properties of glass, from its ability to bend light and at times disappear from sight to the importance of the shape of the light bulb, capable of supporting more than 100 pounds yet so fragile it shatters when dropped. The show concludes with the space launch of Ace von Cluck, fulfilling his life-long dream of flight, and his safe return to Earth thanks to a foam glass insulation tile used on the space shuttle.

Adaptable for grades 1-8, Fractured Physics is the latest of more than 60 Science on the Road programs delivered to more than 225,000 students each year. Nearly 12,000 students are currently registered to participate in Fractured Physics at schools in western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

Carnegie Science Center’s Science on the Road program was established in 1983 and reaches students throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. Topics cover a range of math and science disciplines and are presented in classrooms, school assemblies and after-school workshops.

Schools can book Fractured Physics by calling 412.237.3374.