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. School classes with approximately 20,000 pupils in total take part in the Baylab courses every year.
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.
Another Baylab has been set up at Bayer’s Communication Center (Baykomm) in Leverkusen. Here, the program focuses, among other things, on bees, microorganisms and biotechnology – elementary school children (3rd to 4th graders) analyze flower pollen and are thus able to determine the origin of a type of honey. Secondary 1 students (5th to 7th graders) gain insight into the world of microorganisms – models and microscope slides help make leaf structures understandable. The students take smears and prepare cultures to derive conclusions about where microorganisms can be found.
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.