Forscherwelt/Researchers' World

How to encourage children to take up science? Get them interested young! A love of science starts in childhood. Through Henkel’s ‘Forscherwelt’ (Researchers’ World) education initiative, children discover the thrill of scientific experimentation. They become little researchers and get a playful introduction into science’s secrets. The initiative’s patron is Dr. Simone Bagel-Trah, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board and the Shareholders’ Committee at Henkel. The international education initiative is looking back at ten successful years. More than 81,000 children around the world have already taken part in this initiative, playfully discovering scientific secrets by conducting a variety of experiments.

Infographic: Forscherwelt

Henkel brings ‘Forscherwelt’ education initiative to Tallaght, Ireland

The educational concept is not tied to these premises, however: Forscherwelt is now being established internationally at selected Henkel sites and schools under the motto ‘Forscherwelt to go’. In June 2015 Henkel has launched its global educational initiative – Forscherwelt (researchers World) in Tallaght, Ireland

The team at Henkel Tallaght opened its doors to Citywise Education, the locally based programme that provides young people with after-school and out-of-school educational support, for a day of fun learning and experiments. Ireland is the fourth country to roll out this initiative. Back in May, Dr Ute Krupp, who leads Forscherwelt,travelled to Ireland to train 20 employees. They learnt a series of experiments that they could teach school children to introduce them to science.

The day long activity, in partnership with Citywise Education, saw 25 school children come to Tallaght to be taught simple science experiments.

The ‘Forscherwelt’ concept

  • In 2011, Henkel set up a dedicated “Forscherwelt” center in Düsseldorf that is tailored to children’s needs. In this area, children can take on the role of a researcher.
  • Since then, the education initiative has become global. There are "Forscherwelt projects" in 18 countries in North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
  • In Stamford, Istanbul and Dubai, Henkel operates three additional extracurricular Researchers' World learning sites together with established educational partners. In other countries, trained teachers visit elementary schools and conduct experiments with children there.
  • Internationally, “Forscherwelt” is established at selected Henkel sites and schools under its slogan of “Being like a scientist.”
  • Since 2020, the classroom program has been supplemented and expanded with digital content and formats. These include videos, live streams of hands-on experiments, and hybrid forms.

Varied opportunities for children and teachers

  • At ‘Forscherwelt’ children have the chance to conduct their first scientific experiments. The experiments touch upon the topics of glue, washing & cleaning, cosmetics, and sustainability. Kids can ask experts questions and gain insight into how research is conducted.
  • The educational concept of ‘Forscherwelt’ was developed by Prof. Dr. Katrin Sommer, Chair of Chemistry Didactics at Ruhr-University Bochum.
  • During the school year, Henkel offers four elementary schools a nine-part teaching program at ‘Forscherwelt’ every half year.
  • Henkel employees’ children have the opportunity to take part in a one-week vacation course offered four times a year.
  • Further professional development courses for teachers also take place at ‘Forscherwelt’ on a regular basis.

Pictures

Statements

According to Orla Cribbeen, Manager of Human Resources

at Henkel, the event was a huge success. ‘Henkel was delighted to team up with Citywise on this event,’ said Orla. ‘It’s great that we can help the kids from the community get involved and have a fun day of learning while showing them how much fun science can be. It’s important to us to show the students the practical and often overlooked ‘fun’ side of Science. Hopefully this has given them a real insight into what goes on at our facility on a day to day basis. This is the first ’Forscherwelt’ education day we have hosted here in Dublin and we look forward to joining forces with other schools in the future to promote Science to local children.’

Christopher Smith, Education Manager

of Citywise, commented: ‘This has been a great experience for our students. To have Henkel take an interest in educating and showing the kids that learning can be fun is fantastic. The students were really engaged and thoroughly enjoyed their day.’