Museum offers popular BASF Kids’ Lab classes

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
BASF employee volunteer Dana Scott assists a museum patron in creating a cotton ball catapult at the 2015 Louisiana Art & Science Museum Engineering Day.

BASF and the Louisiana Art & Science Museum will again provide BASF Kids’ Lab classes to area schools and the community. BASF is funding the award winning Kids’ Lab chemistry program and offering new class experiments in 2015.

“BASF encourages an interest in science at an early age,” said Tom Yura, Senior Vice President and Manager of the BASF site in Geismar. “Our goal is to have kids interact with the basics of chemistry and the products that surround them daily so that they can explore the connections to chemistry in their world. Through Kids’ Lab we provide hands-on learning that helps today’s students become the innovators and leaders of the future.”

Support of the museum is part of the company’s ongoing effort to promote and enhance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the region.

“BASF has supported the Art & Science Museum in many ways, from sponsoring our First Sunday free programs for the public, to showcasing experiments at our annual Engineering Day,” said Carol Gikas, Executive Director of Louisiana Art & Science Museum. “But the Kids’ Lab initiative is truly where BASF shines.”

BASF Kids’ Lab programming is offered to students and museum visitors at no cost. Over the last four years nearly 6,000 fourth-graders from East Baton Rouge and Ascension parishes, well as 4,300 visitors to the museum, have experienced hands on chemistry through the BASF Kids’ Lab at Louisiana Art & Science Museum. In each instructor-led Kids’ Lab workshop, participants explore chemistry through safe and engaging experiments and interactive demonstrations. Each participant receives a lab apron, a certificate of participation and a pouch filled with other takeaway items.

“By combining the resources and subject matter expertise of BASF and the fun, informal learning environment of the museum, we have seen whole families take interest in STEM,” said Gikas. “Studies about preparing our future workforce for STEM careers confirm what Louisiana Art & Science Museum and BASF have already witnessed – schools cannot do it alone. It takes communities, families and good corporate citizens to cultivate a culture for the love of life-long learning.”