Welcome to LANXESS Annual Report 2012!

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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 gain work experience and to take part in vacation courses and workshops.

The workshops held in 2012 were primarily inspired by the LANXESS Year of Green Mobility. “World Class – Green Mobility” was the motto of the project days and project weeks, during which we reached some 600 students at seven schools. 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.

The aim of a water project week at a high school in Bitterfeld was to raise the awareness of seventh graders for (drinking) water usage and develop innovative ideas for using water more efficiently. To find out about modern chemical and technical water treatment options, the students then visited our new plant for ion exchangers and membrane filtration elements. A representative of the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) also talked to the students about the simple and inadequate living conditions of children in Tanzania.

As announced, this reporting year saw the implementation of our first project aimed at elementary school children – a chemistry experiment kit we developed ourselves. The kit conveys the fascination of science and technology at elementary school level, waking the inventive spirit of both girls and boys as early as possible. One experiment kit can be used by a class together, and includes test setups for conducting basic experiments and research in elementary school chemistry. 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. We plan to provide a total of 1,000 experiment kits worth €360,000 and send them to schools around the world.

Over the past five 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. Feedback from teachers, principals and school authorities shows that these activities have significantly enhanced the importance of the MINT subjects (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology) in school timetables.

In 2013 we are planning to carry out further project weeks on the subject of green mobility and lightweight construction at schools in North Rhine-Westphalia. We intend to expand our activities in elementary schools and, among other things, develop teaching materials related to the megatrends addressed by LANXESS.

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