By Maya Meade
The United Nations declared 2022 as the International Year of Glass (IYOG) to illuminate traditional, sustainable, and innovative technology in the glass industry. This announcement also highlights the ways in which the industry is transforming the scientific, economic, and cultural roles of glass around the world.
During 2022, the Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation celebrated the International Year of Glass with a variety of initiatives throughout the year.
- May 2022: We participated in COSI’s Big Science Celebration, which is a yearly science festival that features hands-on experiments for students and families that typically would not be exposed to STEM. We used two glass-focused experiments: (1) Candy Fiber Pull and (2) Water Pods to demonstrate the versatility of glass as a material.
- June 2022: We partnered with the Glass and Optical Materials Division to host a hot glass demonstration and career panel in Baltimore, MD. The event reached 90 high school students and their teachers and taught them the science behind glass blowing. After the glass blowing demonstration, the students participated in a career panel where they got to learn about careers in the glass industry.
- September 2022: Through collaborations with Dr. Casey Schwarz at Ursinus College, we released a Glass Science Kit featuring three new glass-focused lessons.
- October 2022: In collaboration with the Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC) and Alfred University graduate students, we launched the GLOW (Glass Learning Opportunities Workshop) series. Middle school students from underserved neighborhoods visited the PGC to watch a hot glass demo, neon demo, plasma demo, and glass-breaking demos. Each teacher left with glass kits and information on glass-focused careers to continue learning about and exploring the properties of glass with their students.
- December 2022: We are continuing to create a glass-focused curriculum to enable others to host GLOW events and others in their local communities through our Outreach in a Box program.
With the support of our generous donors, we have been able to provide new and exciting learning experiences for students to explore the field of materials science during the IYOG. You can help us continue to inspire the next generation of ceramic and glass professionals by making a donation to the CGIF at ceramics.org/donate. Your contribution will make a big impact on our efforts to promote and advance the ceramics and glass industry.