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PPG has agreed a new three-year partnership with the technical university École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. PPG will provide a US$96,500 (90,000 Swiss francs) grant for EPFL’s Euler Course, an accelerated programme in math for junior and high-school students, which the company has supported since 2015.
The Euler course aims to inspire students to reach their full potential through a combination of teaching workshops and networking with other students sharing similar interests and talents. This course, inspired by the 18th-century Swiss mathematician and physicist Leonhard Euler, was founded by Kathryn Hess Bellwald, Professor of Mathematics and Associate Vice President for student affairs and outreach at EPFL. More than 120 students from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds are currently enrolled.
“The Euler course is unique in providing high-quality teaching and a stimulating environment where students can motivate one another. With this new funding from PPG, we can provide the finest courses to students who need a more structured approach to mathematics,” said Jérôme Scherer, Head of the Euler Course. “We truly value the long-term commitment from PPG.”
The course is designed as a complement to the traditional school curriculum. It is taught by PhD students, postdocs and researchers in mathematics at EPFL. The six-year programme includes both the secondary school mathematics curriculum, as well as subjects normally taught at university level.
“I liked math in junior high, but the classes bored me, so I didn’t make much of an effort,” says Cassandre Renaud, a former student. “The Euler Course taught me how to work methodically and introduced me to people who understand me.”
“At PPG, we know first-hand the importance of education and the need for a skilled STEM workforce to create stronger, more sustainable communities,” said Jérôme Zamblera, PPG Vice President, EMEA, Automotive Refinish. “It is important for us to support the local communities where we are present. The Euler Course is quite unique as it focuses on children who might not be fully challenged in standard classroom settings.”