Jul 3, 2014 Düsseldorf / Germany
Forscherwelt Goes International
What is glue made from? And what actually goes into detergents? These are just two of the many questions investigated by curious elementary school children in Henkel’s Forscherwelt (“Researchers’ World”). Since its launch in 2011, the education project has attracted a great deal of interest in Germany. Now the initiative is being rolled out to Argentina, where it is introducing children to the exciting world of science.
May 2014 saw Henkel launch its Forscherwelt program in Argentina. At the kick-off event at Henkel’s Chivilcoy site in the province of Buenos Aires, 35 elementary school students eagerly conducted a number of scientific experiments. This marked the start of several teaching units at a total of 15 schools throughout Argentina.
“The aim of the Forscherwelt is to arouse children’s interest in science at an early age and to encourage them to ask questions. In age-appropriate teaching units, they learn how scientists use experiments to answer research questions,” explains Dr. Ute Krupp, Head of Henkel’s Forscherwelt program. Since 2011, third and fourth graders have been conducting their first scientific experiments, involving the fields of gluing, washing, cosmetics and sustainability, at the specially designed Forscherwelt facility in Düsseldorf, Germany.
The educational concept is not tied to these premises, however: Forscherwelt is now being established internationally at selected Henkel sites and schools under the motto “Act like a scientist”. In Russia, Henkel’s Forscherwelt has been successfully collaborating with the Moscow Science Museum “Experimentanium” since March 2014 – with very positive feedback. The Ministry of Education in Moscow views Forscherwelt as an exemplary project for promoting an interest in science among the younger generation and has officially accredited the teaching materials. What’s more, the startup-related event “Skolkovo Startup Village” in June 2014 saw over 100 children enthusiastically conduct a variety of experiments related to the topic of adhesives.
Forscherwelt (“Researchers’ World”) is a Henkel initiative whose patron is Dr. Simone Bagel-Trah, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board and the Shareholders’ Committee of Henkel. In one-week vacation courses or teaching units, children try out being “real researchers” and have fun discovering the secrets of science. Primarily aimed at third and fourth grade students, the programs offered cover topics such as making adhesives from plant substances, dental health, saving energy and much more. The educational concept of Forscherwelt was developed by Prof. Dr. Katrin Sommer, Chair of Chemistry Didactics at Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany.