Trostberg. It was "Bunsen burners at the ready!...” for 19 competitors at this year's 20th national try-out for the International Chemistry Olympiad. This is the sixth time that the AlzChem and BASF companies have organized the third round of the Bavarian state trials.
The young chemistry enthusiasts had a demanding program to complete. First came an entire day spent in the training laboratory, where the Olympians, together with apprentices and trainers, enjoyed carrying out lots of experiments and brewing up the chemicals. And of course, they also had plenty of opportunity to talk shop with experts. The pupils then inspected the Trostberg Chemical Park, and afterwards drove to the AlzChem Hart site where they took a close look at carbide production. They also inspected the BASF Global Competence Center, where Klaus Kamhuber, BASF head of human resources and communications at the site, gave them a tour of the facilities. The program finished off with some highly interesting technical presentations on environmental protection and personnel development. Without a doubt, the highlight of the three-day visit was the whizz-bangs-and-whistles talk: “Fires and Explosions” given by Prof. Dr. Bernd Scheel on Thursday evening. His lively presentation absolutely captivated the whole audience and provided a fiery insight into the thrilling world of chemistry.
In addition to the competitors taking part in the Olympiad the approximately 100 guests included industry representatives from the surrounding region, as well as a host of teachers from Trostberg, Traunreut, Traunstein, Altoetting and Burghausen.
This year the final is being held in Baku in Azerbaijan. “It’s really good to know that there are in fact so many outstanding schoolchildren in Bavaria who are keen on the sciences, and in particular in chemistry. This is just one reason why we are very happy to support events and activities that specifically encourage young people and the upcoming generation; after all, these young people will help determine the future. So naturally, we want to do the best we can to help them shape that future", comments Stefan Greger, AlzChem director and operator of the TROSTBERG CHEMICAL PARK.
Erich Lackner, site coordinator of BASF in Trostberg, speaks along similar lines when he says: “Especially for us at an innovation-driven company like BASF, encouraging and fostering young talent is something that is at the core of what we do. That is why we are very pleased to be involved in the national trials”.