Sydney’s “future scientists” get their first taste of chemistry at BASF Kids’ Lab

Students from Daceyville Public School and Randwick Public School donned their safety goggles and headed to the labs at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Kensington campus for the annual BASF Kids’ Lab program on Wednesday November 22, 2017. BASF Kids Lab

Locally organised in partnership with UNSW, BASF gave primary school children a hands-on experience conducting safe, colourful chemistry experiments, under the supervision of a team of engineers from the University at Kids’ Lab.

Set to spark the imagination of young students through a variety of simple, fun science experiments, BASF Kids’ Lab has been developed to encourage an interest in science from a young age.

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of BASF Kids’ Lab worldwide. By conducting fun-filled, interactive and safe experiments, children will be able to gain a basic understanding of how chemistry plays an important role in our daily lives,” said BASF Australia and New Zealand’s Chairman and Managing Director, David Hawkins.

“We hope that the Kids’ Lab experience will continue to open children’s minds to and ignite a passion in science and chemistry that could one day see them working in a company like BASF,” added Hawkins.

The interactive sessions provide PhD students an opportunity to inspire children in their community to pursue a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) later in life.

Professor Vicki Chen, Head of School of UNSW Chemical Engineering

Local primary schools are participating in the one-day program which includes experiments such as:

  • Paper chromatography - Children will observe the make-up of certain colours and experience what happens when they are separated using a chromatographic process.
  • Worms - Children partake in an experiment introducing an alginate gel (the ‘worm’) to a thermochromic dye that changes colour in response to a change in temperature.
  • Slime - By learning to make slime, students will understand how chemicals react together to form new compounds and how chemistry has a fun application. The children will take home their own slime sample.

Professor Vicki Chen, Head of School of UNSW Chemical Engineering said, “The interactive sessions provide PhD students an opportunity to inspire children in their community to pursue a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) later in life.”

“Our students not only volunteer their time to guide the students through the experiments, but importantly act as role models and offer insight into the excitement and opportunities of working in STEM,” added Professor Chen.

About BASF in Australia and New Zealand

BASF posted sales of about €428 million in Australia and New Zealand in 2015, serving key industries in the agriculture, coatings, construction, manufacturing and mining sectors. As of the end of 2015, the company had 442 employees and operated 11 production sites across the sub-region, manufacturing agricultural solutions, performance products and functional materials & solutions. BASF has been active in Australia for more than 90 years, and for about 60 years in New Zealand. Further information is available on the Internet at www.basf.com/au.

About BASF

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 112,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of more than €70 billion in 2015. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information at www.basf.com.

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