How to encourage children to take up science?
Start them young!

Dr. Simone Bagel-Trah, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board and the Shareholders’ Committee of Henkel, was herself interested at an early age in “finding out.” Her own fascination for the sciences has led this now holder of a doctorate in biological science to put in place a system that shows children, as early as possible in their formative years, how much fun can be had by “playing with science.” Under her patronage, Henkel launched a long-term educational initiative for children in April 2011, aligned specifically to the younger age group up to 10 years of age.

“Forscherwelt” has introduced new standards in terms of content structure and creating a holistic learning experience. The name roughly means “Research World”, a scientific setting created by Henkel specifically for children. Its program includes one-week vacation courses designed to kindle the children’s enthusiasm for things scientific. The environment provided is different from a classic school laboratory, which might only be attended for a few hours per week: in addition to an experiments area, the “Forscherwelt” facility offers quiet corners as well as plenty of room for the children to move around, hence promoting both contemplation and communication.

In their “Forscherwelt”, the children carry out experiments that relate to Henkel’s activities: sticking with adhesives, washing and cleaning, looking into cosmetics – and sustainability. They can put their questions directly to real experts while at the same time gaining an invaluable insight into the adult world of work.

Since its launch in 2011, the education project has attracted a great deal of interest in Germany. The educational concept is not tied to these premises, however: Forscherwelt is now being established internationally at selected Henkel sites in Argentina, Chile, India, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Russia and UAE and schools under the motto “Forscherwelt to go”.

Infographic: Forscherwelt