The LANXESS education initiative – a success story

In 2008, we launched the extensive LANXESS education initiative that underscores our clear commitment to Germany as a business location and as a base for the chemical industry. This initiative has since provided funding to more than 30 schools close to our sites in Germany. The money was used for a number of purposes including the provision of new laboratory facilities, technical equipment and teaching materials for chemistry, biology, physics and IT classes. We also regularly offer interested and talented students the chance to take part in project weeks and workshops.

In 2013, some 400 high-school students participated in our project weeks, which we continued under the motto “World Class – Green Mobility.” The aim was to make the young people aware of the advantages and disadvantages of increasing mobility. In an intensive introduction session, the students looked at current trends such as lightweight construction, green tires, alternative fuels and electromobility. The young researchers also developed their own ideas about how traffic and driving could be made more sustainable in the future.

We continued the implementation of our first project aimed at elementary school children, distributing 1,000 of our chemistry experiment kits worth €360,000 to schools around the world. The kit is intended to convey the fascination of science and technology, waking the inventive spirit of both girls and boys as early as possible. One experiment kit can be used by an entire class and includes test setups for conducting basic scientific experiments and research. The experiments, which we designed in cooperation with the Department of Teaching and Didactics of Chemistry at the Technical University of Dortmund, are completely safe and focus primarily on the solubility of substances in water. In a further measure, we provided all elementary schools close to our sites in Germany with specially developed teaching materials related to mobility, globalization, urbanization and water, making an additional €100,000 available for this purpose.

Our latest project premiered in Germany in fall 2013: “Make it happen – green mobility” is our first activity aimed at middle-school students. A number of schools in Cologne were the first to participate. Students spent several days in locations outside the classroom – including LANXESS’s new headquarters – developing ideas for mobility in the future. They then presented their ideas to an audience. In visits to our production facilities and laboratories, the young people were also introduced to career opportunities at LANXESS.

We are also involved in fostering educational opportunities for young talents at universities. As part of the German government’s “Germany Scholarship” program, LANXESS supports 50 students at eight universities, five of them in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Over the past six years, we have invested around €4 million in the initiative, which was among the winners of Germany’s “365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas” contest in 2011. Through our activities, we have reached more than 50,000 children, adolescents and young adults. Feedback from teachers, principals and school authorities shows that the initiative has significantly enhanced the importance of the MINT subjects (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology) in school timetables.