Great Color Caper 

PPG and Carnegie Science Center introduces the 'Great Color Caper'


PPG has partnered with Carnegie Science Center to support development of "The Great Color Caper" and three other Science on the Road classroom and assembly science-education programs to be offered in a five-state region surrounding Pittsburgh.

Students from Manchester Elementary School in Pittsburgh attended Carnegie Science Center's event across the river from PPG's global headquarters and got to participate in some of the show's experiments as demonstrated by Mike Hennessy, who wrote The Great Color Caper script.
The first program, called “The Great Color Caper,” is available to K-8 students in schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The program features PPG products, PPG scientists demonstrating the company’s technologies, and special PPG paint and glass – as well as a PPG logo – on an eye-catching van that transports the lesson. Lesson topics cover a range of math and science disciplines and are presented in classrooms, school assemblies and after-school workshops.

A press conference at Carnegie Science Center and an ice cream social at PPG’s global headquarters in Pittsburgh today both featured an appearance by The Great Color Caper custom van and performances of segments from the show.

According to Jo Haas, director of Carnegie Science Center, “We are grateful to PPG for their generous support in helping to develop the most spectacular program ever offered through Science on the Road.” She said that, beside the engaging multimedia presentation, “We’ve never had transportation that also serves as a learning experience before! Because we see more than half a million kids at Carnegie Science Center each year and reach out to another 225,000 through Science on the Road, we know these types of programs have an enormously positive impact on students.”

PPG employees in Pittsburgh checked out the van and learned about The Great Color Caper from Hennessy and other Carnegie Science Center representatives.
Central to the mission
Haas said The Great Color Caper is “central” to Carnegie Science Center’s mission of providing informal learning, inspiring young minds, unleashing the imagination and showing the many possible career paths in science and technology. “With committed industry partners like PPG, we know we can make a difference in young peoples’ lives, and we know the future will be in good hands.”

Three PPG employees appear in the accompanying video for The Great Color Caper show: Carol Knox, research associate at the Monroeville, Pa., chemicals center, and Robin Peffer, development chemist, and Sean Purdy, research chemist, both of the Allison Park, Pa., coatings research facility.
PPG products featured in ‘Great Color Caper’
The Great Color Caper show highlights PPG products, such as Transitions photochromic eyeglass lenses and EcoBrite organic inks for decorated glass. Also, PPG paint and glass technologies showcased on The Great Color Caper van include:

  • Andaro CS special-effect pigment that gives a color-shifting, opalescent appearance to coatings on the bumpers;
  • Andaro HC tints that provide the van’s metallic blue wheel coatings with exceptional clarity and brilliance;
  • Vibrance Collection refinish paints giving it a rainbow appearance;
  • a special aftermarket windshield that uses blue-blocking technology similar to that of some high-performance sunglasses, making it appear blue from the outside and providing the best solar protection of any windshield on the market;
  • Safe and Sound laminated glass, which consists of two thin pieces of strengthened glass surrounding a thin layer of vinyl to help reduce interior noise, make windows more difficult to break through, and provide a sun protection factor (SPF) of more than 50;
  • Solextra aquamarine vision glass and Solextra deep blue privacy glass, which absorb energy to help cool the interior better than any other uncoated automotive glasses;
  • Starphire ultra-clear, colorless glass that helps make images and colors transmitted through it appear as sharp and vibrant as possible; and
  • Sungate window technology that prevents 60 percent of the sun’s energy from entering the van, helping to keep it cool and, in turn, reduce the use of air conditioning and fuel.

The custom van that transports The Great Color Caper education enrichment program showcases cutting-edge PPG glass and paint technologies, as indicated here by Jessica Lausch (left), director of education experience, Carnegie Science Center. The bumpers change color with the light; the wheel covers gleam metallic blue; and the window glass features different colors and light-reactive properties, including infrared-absorbent and -reflecting technologies that help cool the van's interior.
The Great Color Caper was conceived and developed by Carnegie Science Center education specialists as a high-energy, interactive multimedia show that uses a super-hero, comic-book style and scientific experiments to teach students about light, energy, reflection, pigments and color perception. During the 45-minute show, a presenter in a tie-dyed lab coat guides students in grades K-8 in becoming “color cadets” who attempt to save the fictional city of Spectropolis from Monochrome, an evil villain plotting to rob the city of all its color.

Andaro, EcoBrite, Safe and Sound, Solextra, Starphire, Sungate and Vibrance are trademarks of PPG Industries. Transitions is a trademark of Transitions Optical, Inc.