Education and Research

The right chemistry

In the past, children didn’t begin learning foreign languages until their fifth year of school. Today, some children start learning other languages as early as pre-school – because the earlier their talents are encouraged, the better. Bayer too has embraced this basic principle, and promotes science in schools. Some of our numerous projects around the world have since won awards and taken on model character.

At Bayer, the sponsorship of school education in Germany is based on three pillars. The Bayer Foundation's school support program specifically assists schools near the company’s German sites in their efforts to make instruction in science and technology more attractive through innovative projects. The BayLabs student laboratories enable school students to independently conduct exciting experiments in the areas of health, plants, materials and the environment under professional supervision and thus gain hands-on experience of practical science. As well as organizing its own technology competition for schools, Bayer has also been a partner for many years to the student research competitions "Jugend forscht," the International Biology Olympiad and the International Chemistry Olympiad in North-Rhine Westphalia.

An international initiative for the sponsorship of school education is the “Making Science Make Sense” program, which was introduced in the United States in 1995. 1,200 Bayer employees now visit schools regularly on a volunteer basis to demonstrate to the children just how exciting natural sciences can be. Because of its tremendous success in the United States, similar projects have been introduced in Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Japan, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Baylabs
 

Bayer has established four so-called "Baylabs" at various locations in Germany. These are laboratories in which school students have the opportunity to learn about chemistry and biology with practical and professionally prepared experiments and learning programs. Since the establishment of the first Baylab, the Baylab health in Wuppertal, Germany, in 1998, more than 51,100 schoolchildren have made use of these facilities.
 
In Baylab health, the young children can get to the bottom of natural science phenomena themselves. They carry out experiments with materials they know from everyday life: The youngest work with red cabbage juice and felt pens, while the junior high pupils perform tests with coffee and spices, for example. In the last two grades at school, the children carry out such experiments as isolating the genetic matter from an onion.  

The training facilities at Baylab plants in Monheim, Germany are targeted at schoolchildren between the age of 14 and 18, and are oriented to the curricula for biology and chemistry. In various experiments with agricultural crops such as rice and canola, the children get to see the natural sciences from a new and exciting angle.

The motto of Baylab plastics in Leverkusen, Germany is "A plastics lab for all the senses". The schoolchildren make simple objects such as egg spoons or more complex items such as sports goggles. They also work on everyday articles such as housings for computer mice and drinking cup, and learn how an idea is turned into a finished product. One special feature of Baylab plastics is that the children also have an opportunity to acquire basic knowledge in such areas as business development, marketing, product design and communications.

Another Baylab has been set up at Bayer’s Communication Center (BayKomm) in Leverkusen. Here, the curriculum focuses on the subjects of Vitamin C, nanotechnology and biotechnology – elementary school children, for example, experiment with fruit and vegetables and determine the Vitamin C content. 5th and 6th graders gain insight into the latest research technologies – they consider the make-up of nanoparticles and the lotus effect and produce their own artificial nano-layers.
 
For high school students, the focus is on the subjects of genetic makeup and health – they look into the origin and diagnosis of hereditary diseases and practice doing precision work (pipetting using micropipettes, measurement, weighing, recording) and evaluating test results scientifically.
 
A detailed overview of all the projects carried out at the different Baylabs can be found here

Bayer Science and
Education Foundation

The Bayer Science & Education Foundation founded in 2007 promotes science and education. The spectrum of sponsored activities ranges from support for school projects through scholarships for schoolchildren and students to honors for talented young scientists in the early stage of their academic career and renowned scientists. The foundation focuses on natural science, technology and medicine.

As part of its school support program the foundation provides annual project-related funding of up to EUR 500,000 to schools in the communities surrounding Bayer sites. The focus is particularly on supporting projects which make scientific and technical instruction better and more innovative and attractive through additional course offerings.

The Bayer Fellowship Program provides scholarships that enable scientifically ambitious young students and schoolchildren to realize special study plans abroad.

Research
competitions

The well-known "Jugend forscht" (in German) research competition for school students aims to reward special accomplishments and talents in the fields of natural sciences, math and technology. Since it was founded in 1965, Bayer has supported the competition as a partner company and also organizes the competition for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The winners of the state competition then qualify for the large Germany-wide final that is held every year in May. Additional information about participation is available here (in German).

The International Biology Olympiad supports talented school students who are interested in biological and ecological problems and issues. This international competition is funded in Germany by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). As a longstanding partner, Bayer has supported this international competition for many years. Click here for further information.

At the International Chemistry Olympiad school students can measure their skills in solving theoretical and experimental problems the field of chemistry. This student competition is financed every year at a national level by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and organized by the Institute for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Kiel. The Bayer Science & Education Foundation supports talented young students and offers them the chance to take part in a preparatory seminar before the event. Additional information about participation is available here (in German).

Making Science
Make Sense

The "Making Science Make Sense“ program provides school students with an insight into everyday natural science phenomena with the help of all kinds of fascinating experiments. The recipe for success is both simple and effective: Bayer employees take time out to visit the schools, armed with hands-on science. These are experiments that the schoolchildren can carry out themselves.

The program was initiated in 1995 in the United States by voluntary Bayer employees. Today, the Making Science Make Sense program is available to schools in the catchment area of 15 Bayer sites in the United States. 1,200 Bayer employees in the United States have already taken part in the initiative. More than one million students and teachers in the United States have benefited from the school visits and other activities held regularly by Bayer.

Making Science Make Sense has received prestigious U.S. awards such as the "President's Service Award" in 2000 and the "Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership" in 2006. Because of its tremendous success in the United States, similar projects have been introduced in Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Japan, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Further
commitment

The "Jump-start" program supports young people who do not yet meet the requirements for a company vocational training course. Its aim is to give the young people information and practical experience and prepare them for a career. They can deepen their knowledge of, for example, German, math, chemistry, physics and technology, and they can train in various trade skills. Personality development and the teaching of key qualifications are also encouraged.

Furthermore, at its "BayKomm" communication center in Leverkusen, Bayer offers a number of interesting events for school students, including the "Science Nights". In addition, the company invites school classes to visit the production plants at Bayer's German sites and offers the children the opportunity of internships and work experience. The company also makes teaching materials available for natural science lessons. Information on school activities at Bayer's sites in Germany can be found on the respective websites (in German): Leverkusen, Wuppertal-Elberfeld, Dormagen, Krefeld-Uerdingen, Brunsbüttel and Bitterfeld

Last updated: September 11, 2014 Copyright © Bayer AG
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