Ion Jones 

Carnegie Science Center's 'Ion Jones' swings into action

The Carnegie Science Center, based in Pittsburgh, and partnering with PPG Industries launched “Ion Jones and the Lost Castle of Chemistry,” the third traveling science education program in 2008. 

"Ion Jones and the Lost Castle of Chemistry,” conceived and developed by Science Center education specialists, is a high-energy, interactive multimedia show that teams participants with chemistry adventurer “Ion Jones” (a parody of the "Indiana Jones" movie hero) and real PPG scientists on a global quest to understand how chemistry affects industry, biology, technology, and the environment.

Children learn about viscosity as part of their science show.
PPG scientists and engineers enjoy sharing their expertise and experiences in support of these programs with the hope that the young people who see the presentations will be inspired to pursue careers in science and engineering. It’s been a win-win partnership for everyone involved.

Adaptable for grades 1 through 8, “Ion Jones” is the latest of more than 40 "Science on the Road" programs delivered by Carnegie Science Center to more than 225,000 students throughout the region each year.

“The partnership that has developed over the past several years between PPG and Carnegie Science Center has taken tremendous strides in providing high-quality educational offerings to students throughout the region,” said Ron Baillie, Carnegie Science Center's co-director and chief program officer. “We are grateful to PPG for their support of the three existing programs and the support for the development of a fourth Science on the Road program. We know that these types of programs have an enormously positive impact in helping to inspire tomorrow’s scientists.”

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 with programs covering a wide range of math and science topics presented in classrooms, school assemblies, and after-school workshops.

In September 2006, Carnegie Science Center unveiled “The Great Color Caper,” the first of three original programs developed with a grant of $423,000 from PPG Industries Foundation. “The Great Color Caper” is an interactive, multimedia show that uses a super-hero, comic-book-style theme to teach students about light, energy, reflection, pigments, and color perception. More than 60,000 students in the region have already experienced “The Great Color Caper.” In February 2008, a $75,000 grant from PPG Industries provided for the complete replication of the program to be presented to schools in North and South Carolina through Discovery Place in Charlotte, N.C.

In October 2007, Carnegie Science Center’s “Fractured Physics” program shattered common misconceptions about glass and physics. The second of the PPG Industries partner programs, “Fractured Physics” pairs a Science Center demonstrator with puppet sidekick Ace von Cluck to explore the many uses and properties of modern glass, from hair-thin fiber-optic cables to shatter-resistant auto windshields to the amazing heat resistance of foam glass insulation used on the exterior of the Space Shuttle. 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. More than 24,000 students have experienced “Fractured Physics” since its availability in 2007.

Each of the PPG programs features real PPG scientists and was developed to highlight exciting science developments related to PPG Industries products. Each of the three existing programs, and the fourth program to launch in 2009, travel to schools in customized vans featuring PPG Industries products and images from the shows.

Carnegie Science Center also provides teachers with ideas for classroom activities for students before the visit and after the shows.

About Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes and off-site education programs.