Kids’ Lab promotes science

Published 7:53 pm Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Since January, 472 Suffolk children in five public elementary schools have benefited from hands-on science activities delivered by BASF, according to the chemical company.

BASF employee volunteers brought the Kids’ Lab program, which ended in June, to Mack Benn Jr., Hillpoint, Florence Bowser, Nansemond Parkway and Booker T. Washington elementary schools.

“The program would not be possible without our volunteers,” Patrick Hochstrasser, site director for BASF in Suffolk, stated in a news release.

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“They are essential to successfully carrying out the purpose of Kids’ Lab, which is to promote science literacy.”

The students benefited from a range of experiments, ranging from paper chromatography to making slime and lava lamps.

Experiments are designed for children ages 6 through 12, emphasizing “a safe and interactive learning environment that highlights the significance or science education in everyday life,” company officials said.

BASF offers Kids’ Lab to all communities in which the company has operations. It has engaged more than 30,000 participants since 2010.

Along with the company’s other science education programs, the New Jersey section of the American Chemical Society recognized Kids’ Lab for excellence in 2014, as did the New Jersey chapters of the Public Relations Society of America and the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates in 2012.

On the local level, Suffolk City Council has recognized the success of Kids’ Lab, and the program received Suffolk Public Schools’ City-Wide Partner In Education of the Year award in 2012.

“It’s encouraging to see that everyone considers science education as a substantial asset for the future,” Hochstrasser stated.
“Through our interaction with the schoolchildren, BASF also makes the link between science and rewarding careers.”