The chemical industry’s task is to provide solutions that help the global community develop sustainably. To continue doing this, we will need committed scientists and engineers in the future. That’s why WACKER looks for ways to awaken children’s enthusiasm for science and technology.
WACKER helps develop progressive teaching methods and modern school management systems. In fact, we are a founding member of the Bavarian Educational Pact. This is a long-term commitment by businesses (currently 130 companies) and the Bavarian state to cooperate on educational issues. Over the last few years, the business community has helped Bavaria’s Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs launch a variety of school projects (e.g. Modus F, Kompass, Profil 21, and GribS). The focus is always on improving the quality of schools and lessons. Measures range from making experimental work an integral part of elementary science teaching and expanding vocational course programs, to creating new teaching methods for training self-reliance and team-building skills.
With our WACKER experiment kit for schools, we aim to generate enthusiasm for science among children and teenagers. Franziska Moll, trainee teacher attending university in Munich, helps us make the experiments more attractive for high-school students.
In 1992, we developed our first experiment kit for schools. Thanks to input from chemists and educationalists, we have been able to enhance and expand the experiments and accompanying brochure several times since then. In 2007, WACKER issued a new version in German and English. On request, we supply it for free to universities, high schools and vocational colleges around the world. It provides teachers and students with over 30 chemical experiments, ranging from silicone fluids and defoamers to sealants, adhesives and cyclodextrins. With these industrially relevant experiments, WACKER is making a major contribution to science teaching. We have produced 2,300 of the new kits.
WACKER supports Science Lab, a private-sector educational initiative that awakens children’s interest in science and technology at an early age. At all our German locations, we finance one-day Science Lab seminars for elementary-school and kindergarten teachers. We also donate research kits that help seminar participants cover topics such as biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy and the earth sciences in a kid-friendly way. Our Burghausen, Munich, Freiberg, Nünchritz and Stetten sites supported several local kindergartens and an elementary school in this way between 2006 and 2008.
Since 1998, WACKER has supported Germany’s Young Scientists competition, which promotes young people’s interest in science. Every two years (incl. 2008), we organize and sponsor the Bavarian state-wide competition. WACKER has also supported Dresden’s regional competition since 2007.
All WACKER sites help high-school students prepare for a profession. At career days and student workshops, WACKER staff and trainers cover chemical-sector jobs, practical project management, and presentation skills. In the period under review, we organized workshops at Burghausen’s Aventinus high school, using the slogan “Vision 2020 – Students Thinking Outside the Box.” Working in teams, the students spent a week coming up with innovative product ideas and learning how to present them professionally. WACKER employees help schools develop by offering their services as guest speakers on teacher training seminars and as appraisers.
In Michigan (USA), Wacker Chemical Corporation supports the Essential2Lenawee project – a multi-company initiative to encourage high-school graduates to pursue a career in the chemical industry. The project initiators provide Lenawee County schools with an interactive DVD and a science game.
In the reporting period, our employees at WACKER Greater China supported an elementary school in an impoverished mountain region. Their efforts helped build a 2,000-book library there. Additionally, they donated two computers and stationery supplies. The school children come from nearby villages and their parents, mostly simple hill farmers, cannot afford to buy school materials.