Dr. Thomas Narbeshuber
Chemistry and the chemical industry together are one of the engines of sustainability. Our global strategy was designed with a view to integrating sustainability as closely as possible in our business processes and to making it the point of departure for our new business opportunities. This approach is also fully integrated in our business activities. The work of highly trained professionals is key to innovation in chemistry and the chemical industry. Without highly trained professionals there is no research and without developments there is no innovation. This is why it is so crucially important for BASF to support training all over the world. One of our key tasks is to promote sciences and particularly chemistry as a subject at school.
Industry: Pharmaceutical industry
Solutions of the macro-sustainability challenges
Take individuals from education to workplace by providing them with the right qualifications, professions and skills
What´s the solution?
The number of young people choosing subjects in natural sciences is dramatically low in Hungary, primarily because most schools have no facilities for practical work and for experiments, in most cases as a result of funding shortages. This is the gap we wish to fill by way of the Kids’ Lab program. The first Kids’ Lab was opened in 1997 in the town of Ludwigshafen where the Company has its headquarters in Germany. Kids’ Labs raise children’s interest in chemistry, demonstrating the various ways this particular branch of science contributes to our day-to-day lives. Not so much as transferring technical/professional knowledge, this program is more about transferring an approach of openness to how natural sciences work. Unaided experimentation is one of the most important elements of this concept: working like young chemists engages children in the activities, developing their skills, precision and creativity at the same time. They lay out the results of their experimentations in a story: They can roam about in the world of chemistry in the company of Dr. Bubble and his friends. To prepare the programme to be launched in Hungary we are conducting active dialogues with Hungarian teachers and other professionals who have extensive knowledge about the situation of education in Hungary.
With the Kids’ Lab project we wish to draw attention to how beautiful and how important chemistry is in our day-to-day lives, as we could not even exist without its achievements today. The positive experience of a first encounter is indispensable for young people so that they can get to like such a complex branch of science. Our aim is to enable as many young school children to familiarize themselves with the world of laboratories and thereby with the world of chemistry, so as to raise their interest in natural sciences and particularly chemistry. This education project was launched nearly two decades ago in Germany and it has been operating in Hungary since 2011, whereby we wish to accomplish long term commitment.
More than 55,000 schoolchildren participate in the activity each year and their total number so far is about 500,000. In Hungary a total of 12,000 young students have been our guests so far. The Kids’ Lab helps shape even the attitudes of the small students participating in the activity, strengthening their environmental awareness. One unique feature of Kids’ Lab is that it relies on our own education method, developed by the Company’s experts. Children perform simple experiments that are linked to the chemistry of day-to-day life. They carry out interactive experiments in pairs, developing a whole set of skills including problem solving capability, text understanding and cooperation.