BusinessDay

Henkel to launch forscherwelt initiative to introduce children to science world

Henkel is set to launch the Forscherwelt programme to introduce children to the fascinating world of science.

The pilot phase of the training will be held at People’s Primary School, Ibadan in November 2021. Since its inauguration at Henkel’s Düsseldorf headquarters in April 2011, more than 62,000 children around the world have taken part in Henkel’s Forscherwelt programmes.

Forscherwelt is an out-of-school learning environment focusing on using scientific methods, critical testing, analysis, interpretation of data, science, and of course: creativity. Through specific learning objectives, children gain insight into the process of scientific inquiry.

According to Ute Krupp, global coordinator, the programme is designed for children between the ages of eight to ten and takes a holistic approach towards teaching and learning by putting children into the role and workplace of an actual researcher.

“The programme is Henkel’s way of contributing to scientific literacy, and it includes teaching units for elementary schools in different settings with teaching materials and training courses developed by educational specialists,” said Krupp.

According to Rajat Kapur, the Managing Director of Henkel Nigeria, the public primary school was chosen as it is situated near Henkel’s Ibadan plant and the company is committed to empowering young talents and supporting them to flourish in the communities in which it operates.

Kapur said the initiative reflects the focal points of Henkel’s research areas as it is meant to position the globally reputed company as a stakeholder in the country’s education sector, drive and amplify its involvement in community relations.

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The classes in forscherwelt are on research areas that Henkel is active in, such as gluing, washing, personal care, and sustainability, he said. The latter involves teaching children how to save energy, recycle paper, use renewable raw materials, and information about general health.

Furthermore, he said the programme would foster a relationship between Henkel and its host communities, grow corporate social responsibility footprint in Nigeria, and build a positive reputation among relevant stakeholders.

Through specific learning objectives, elementary students can gain insight into the process of scientific inquiry as it came into being to encourage children to explore the world of science and make research fun.

Also, Felicity Nwachukwu, the local coordinator, said the programme structure is to set up classroom/training within the school environment with adequate space for the students and tools needed, and the training could be held once a week with the classes broken down into segments to manage space.

Kapur mentioned that it is their goal to roll Forscherwelt out to more schools around Nigeria.

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