BASF, the world’s leading chemical company and the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Kerala have joined hands to promote science education amongst the student community. To this end, BASF Kids’ Lab, the company’s global chemistry education program was inaugurated, as part of the ‘National Science Day’ celebrations. The initiative is launched in association with Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation & Kerala State Science and Technology Museum.
Present for the inauguration were dignitaries from academia, local politicians, representatives from Department of Science and Technology & other associates, BASF officials, stakeholders, members from the community, teachers and school students.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Mr. Prasad Chandran, Chairman, BASF Companies in India & Head South Asia said, “Innovations and sustainability will be the key drivers of growth and value creation in the future, and the chemical industry is basic to the growth and development of almost every end-use industry. With BASF Kids’ Lab, we aim to get closer to students, introduce them to the fascinating world of chemistry and motivate them to pursue higher education in science and chemistry,” added Mr. Chandran.
From now until March 5, 2013, a total of more than 1500 students will learn more about the important role played by chemistry in our daily lives through simple, fun-filled experiments. Children in Grade VIII and IX, from several state-run, private schools and not-for-profit organizations will attend the sessions at Kerala State Science & Technology Museum.
The experiments are focused on the role of chemistry in solutions to address current and future challenges faced by mankind. The “Water Purification” experiment will show children how filtration systems remove solid and dissolved particles from water, demonstrating how waste water is treated and purified. Similarly, in the “Lotus Effect” experiment students will learn how textile chemicals can help keep clothes stain free, thus conserving water used while washing clothes. In the “Color Lock” experiment, kids will learn how to prevent bleeding of color with a color fixer that fixes the dye molecules to cloth.
Other experiments include “Hair Gel” and “Chromatography”. The former will educate students on how to make hair gel, including how to adjust the pH balance of the mixture and change the texture and consistency, while the latter will explain a simple technique for separating individual components from a mixture.
“Plans are at an exploratory stage currently. Based on the feedback and response generated, we shall explore the possibility of setting up a permanent Kids’ Lab at a later stage”, concluded Mr. Chandran.
BASF Kids’ Lab is an interactive chemistry education program first launched at BASF’s headquarters in Germany in 1997. Introduced in Indiain 2004, BASF Kids’ Lab has been organized in partnership with several institutions and was also an integral part of BASF’s exhibits at the recent Indo-German Urban Mela, where students learned more about the role of chemistry in water conservation and purification. To date, 50,000 kids from schools across India have experienced BASF Kids’ Lab.
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