BASF Stirs Up Excitement for Chemistry with Washington County High School Students

“This interactive STEM program allows BASF to leverage connections with area high schools and work with teenagers – the emerging workforce.”

Originally Published by BASF.

Twenty high school juniors from Washington County attended BASF’s Teens’ Lab – a two-day program sponsored by BASF and hosted at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.

Teens’ Lab provides a unique opportunity for students to use state-of-the-art equipment in a university level lab, where perhaps they’ll spark an interest in future educational and employment in careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

“This interactive STEM program allows BASF to leverage connections with area high schools and work with teenagers – the emerging workforce,” said Jason Slinkard, Site Director at the BASF facility in McIntosh, Alabama. “Teens’ Lab connects students with chemistry and allows them to explore career pathways in our industry.”

On the first day of the program, students and their parents learned about the college application and scholarship process, toured BASF laboratory facilities and networked with BASF professionals who provided advice and information on college and career choices.

“Before Teens’ Lab I was 100 percent sure I wanted to major in Architecture,” said Chloe Carpenter, Leroy High School. “After having so much fun in the lab and touring the University of South Alabama, Teens’ Lab has opened up opportunities for me I could never have imagined.”

On the second day, participants conducted hands-on experiments in a lab with University of South Alabama graduate students and learned to identify the composition of certain materials using their physical and chemical properties.

“Our collaboration with BASF provides an opportunity to connect with some bright high school students through a common interest in chemistry,” said Dr. Christy Wheeler West, Associate Professor of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department and Director of Undergraduate Research at USA. “The program exposes the students to potential careers in chemistry and chemical engineering and offers a sense of how to get started on that path through a college education.”

The Washington County school district identified the Teens’ Lab participants. High school juniors who were currently enrolled in chemistry, or those who have taken chemistry, were eligible to participate.

Students who complete the Teens’ Lab program are eligible for a University of South Alabama scholarship and a summer internship at the BASF facility in McIntosh, Alabama.

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