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It’s Not Rocket Science!

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Keywords: Volunteerism & Community Engagement | Carnegie Science Center | Chrysler Group LLC | Education | PPG Foundation | STEM | Science | Volunteerism & Community Engagement | chemistry

It’s Not Rocket Science!

Walton Charter Academy Students Meet “Ion Jones and the Lost Castle of Chemistry”
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It's Not Rocket Science!


  • Chrysler Group and PPG Industries Bring Interactive Chemistry Program to Southeast Michigan Students
  • Chrysler Group Provides Grants to Help Schools Purchase Science Kits
  • Chrysler Group Employees Go Back to Class to Explore Science with Students
Press Release
Friday, September 21, 2012 - 5:00pm

(3BL Media) September 21, 2012 - This week, students at Walton Charter Academy teamed up with chemistry adventurer Ion Jones on a global quest to explore rainforests, deserts, glaciers, ancient temples and prehistoric carbon deposits. While the journey – presented courtesy of Chrysler Group LLC and PPG Industries – is imaginary, the science involved is real.

To view b-roll of this event, please click here:

Led by "Ion Jones” (a parody of the "Indiana Jones" movie hero), “Ion Jones and the Lost Castle of Chemistry” is a 45-minute interactive, traveling science exploration show created and presented by Carnegie Science Center of Pittsburgh with support from PPG that teaches students how chemistry affects industry, technology and the environment. By the time students reach the “Lost Castle,” they have explored and observed chemistry in action courtesy of a fiery volcano, a cola geyser, an exploding hydrogen-filled balloon and other chemistry experiments. 

“Chrysler Group is proud to be part of this effort to introduce children to the magic of science and technology, as well as the critical disciplines of math and science,” said Jody Trapasso, Senior Vice President - External Affairs, Chrysler Group LLC and President of The Chrysler Foundation. “We hope this program produces the next generation of innovators who help change the world.”

Beyond the live shows, Chrysler Group provided each participating school with a $1,000 grant to purchase scientific kits. Once the kits are received, employees from the Chrysler Group’s  Chassis Engineering organization will team up with the schools to help students learn about the science concepts that they utilize as part of their everyday work. 

In addition to making a stop at the Walton Charter Academy, the interactive assembly made its way to Alcott Elementary, Pontiac; Great Oaks Academy, Warren; and Roose Elementary, Warren. Meanwhile, students at Anderson Elementary School, Trenton; Hedke Elementary School, Trenton; Hillside Elementary School, Farmington Hills; and Whitman Elementary School, Pontiac, learned about the science of climate change and renewable energy technology with “Captain Green’s Time Machine,” another interactive Science on the Road educational program developed by PPG and the Carnegie Science Center. In total, the programs reached more than 3,000 students.

“PPG is strongly committed to helping enhance the quality of life in communities where it has a presence such as Metro Detroit, especially through educational initiatives such as these Carnegie Science Center assemblies,” said Cindy Niekamp, PPG senior vice president, automotive OEM coatings, based at the company’s Automotive Technology Center in Troy. "We are excited to bring these programs to Walton Charter Academy and other schools in the Detroit area, and we hope they help students see how fun and exciting science and technology can be."

PPG Industries, the world’s largest supplier of paints and coatings for the transportation industry, is a supplier to Chrysler Group LLC.

Carnegie Science Center developed the interactive Science on the Road educational programs, with donations from the PPG Industries Foundation and PPG Industries. Additionally, PPG employees collaborated with the science center's education specialists to develop the multimedia shows and accompanying materials.

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. For more information, visit


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. For more information, visit



PPG Industries’ vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Through leadership in innovation, sustainability and color, PPG helps customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets to enhance more surfaces in more ways than does any other company. Founded in 1883, PPG has global headquarters in Pittsburgh and operates in more than 60 countries around the globe. Sales in 2011 were $14.9 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit

Bringing innovation to the surface is a trademark of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.


About Chrysler Group LLC

Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 to establish a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar, SRT and Fiat vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group’s culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat’s complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group’s product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300 and Town & Country, Jeep Wrangler, all-new Dodge Dart, Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and Fiat 500. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.


Kevin E. Frazier
+1 (248) 512-2678
Chrysler Group LLC
Mike Millar
+1 (248) 641-2237
PPG Automotive OEM Coatings