BASF volunteers brought the company’s popular Kids’ Lab program to 16 schools in six states in celebration of National Chemistry Week (October 20 – 26).
“As the world’s leading chemical company, BASF recognizes the importance of immersing students in science education -- realizing they will be the thinkers, innovators and leaders of the future,” said Robin Rotenberg, Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for BASF in North America. “Through our Kids’ Lab program, we are creating fun with chemistry to tap into children’s natural curiosity and encourage them to explore scientific concepts.”
The award winning BASF Kids’ Lab program is designed to provide a fun, hands-on learning environment for children between the ages of 6 – 12. They experience chemistry through safe and engaging chemical experiments, coupled with interactive Q&A and demonstrations. Children learn about the importance of chemistry to everyday life and how BASF creates chemistry. The Kids’ Lab program is offered to schools in communities where the company has operations.
BASF outreach for National Chemistry Week included schools in Morris County, New Jersey; West Memphis, Arkansas; Brighton, Colorado; Savannah, Georgia; Hannibal, Missouri and Tipp City, OH. In addition, BASF participated in the Chemistry Expo coordinated by the American Chemistry Society at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey.
The students participated in various hands on experiments including an exploration of how polymers behave and their uses in chemistry – all while having fun creating gooey, colorful slime. Some students learned about the world’s most precious resource – water. They explored the process of water filtration, from the earth’s natural filtration process – the water cycle – to mechanical and chemical methods. Others learned about the life cycle of a plant through the hands on investigation of the most popular seasonal fruit – the pumpkin. At Liberty Science Center, BASF volunteers demonstrated the principles of electricity by making potatoes tell time and lemons light up.
“We very much appreciate the BASF team's presentation and the fun and excitement that they created with our 6th graders in making slime!” said Mrs. Kathy Shadel, Principal of a school in Brighton, Colorado. “Will this experience influence some of these 58 students to become chemists? My conclusion would be a resounding yes.”
Kids’ Lab was established at BASF’s global headquarters in Germany in 1997, and is currently available in more than 30 countries worldwide. Kids’ Lab was launched in North America in 2010 and has engaged more than 30,000 participants. In addition to school based lessons provided by BASF volunteers, Kids’ Lab is also offered through regional science centers and museums in major cities such as the Michigan Science Center, the Children’s Museum of Houston, the Louisiana Art and Science Museum and Liberty Science Center. The program was recognized in 2012 for excellence in science education by the New Jersey Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and by the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates.