Teacher, Student Programs Focus on Sustainability, Diversity
PITTSBURGH, July 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- High school "green" chemistry and diversity/workforce development in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields are the focus of two innovative programs for teachers and students that the Bayer USA Foundation is sponsoring this summer in four cities within the United States.
The two programs -- Green Chemistry High School Teacher Workshops and Project SEED -- are initiatives of the American Chemical Society (ACS). A recent Bayer USA Foundation grant is enabling ACS to establish the programs in Pittsburgh, Houston, Raleigh, N.C., and Tyler, Texas.
The Bayer USA Foundation's support of these programs reflects Bayer Corporation's continued commitment to science education/science literacy, sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR). This commitment is evident in the company's award-winning Making Science Make Sense(R) program, as well as in the number of green policies, processes and technologies Bayer continues to develop to lower greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency and reduce overall consumption of natural resources.
"With these two key programs, the ACS is providing leading-edge educational opportunities in key areas that are both important to Bayer and among the most urgent for the country to begin addressing," said Dr. Attila Molnar, President and CEO, Bayer Corporation, and President, Bayer USA Foundation.
Green Chemistry High School Workshops (Pittsburgh, Raleigh)
Green chemistry is one of these areas. Through the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances, green chemistry provides the scientific underpinning for achieving sustainability by developing environmentally-friendly ways to produce everyday goods.
The workshops will take place in Pittsburgh at Duquesne University from July 6-9, 2008, and in Raleigh at North Carolina State University from July 27-30, 2008.
These intensive three-day sessions led by ACS education experts will introduce some 50 high-school teachers from around the country to the principles of green chemistry by conducting green-chemistry experiments that can be incorporated into the curriculum, providing examples of green-chemistry applications relevant to students, increasing awareness of green-chemistry education resources and developing strategies for integrating green chemistry into the curriculum.
"We'll be doing experiments that are relevant to contemporary U.S. and global issues, such as alternative fuel development and energy conservation," said Dr. Mary Kirchhoff, Education Director of the ACS. "For example, the teachers will be using a renewable resource -- vegetable oil -- to create an alternative fuel, biodiesel. We'll also be conducting experiments that involve making silver nanoparticles and breaking down a plastic."
Experts from Bayer MaterialScience and Bayer CropScience also will be on-hand to serve as guest speakers and discuss various processes and technologies the companies are pioneering, such as sustainable farming, green building and light-weighting of vehicles.
The dual issues of diversifying the country's STEM pipeline and reversing underrepresentation by women, African-Americans, American Indians and Hispanics in STEM fields are another key concern to Bayer. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Project SEED addresses these issues by giving high-school students from economically disadvantaged families the opportunity to experience a career in chemistry-related science through eight- to 10-week hands-on summer internships in academic, industrial or governmental research laboratories.