30 July 2018

BASF Kids’ Lab set to ignite children’s interest in science at CUHK



The Department of Chemistry at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), together with BASF, the world’s leading chemical company, helped children explore the wonders of chemistry in daily life at BASF Kids’ Lab from 21 to 29 July 2018 on CUHK campus. Under the theme of “Chemistry Colours our World”, BASF is introducing a new experiment titled “Who’s Inflating the Balloon?”. Presented for the first time in Hong Kong, this is the winning experiment of the “Experiment Challenge 2016”.

“Nurturing students’ interest in STEM (science, technology, education and mathematics) from a young age helps equip them to meet the rapid economic, scientific and technological developments in our society and around the world,” said Ulrich Boettger, Director of BASF Hong Kong Ltd. “Kids’ Lab allows children to explore chemistry in an interactive and enjoyable way, so that they can develop a passion and interest in science and even pursue a STEM related career later in life.”

“The government has earlier revealed its official blueprint to make Hong Kong a world-class smart city. The success of the ‘smart city’ relies on bringing STEM into everyday life. Through Kids’ Lab, we aim to strengthen children’s ability to apply skills across different STEM disciplines, and empower their creativity and collaboration,” said Professor Ngai To, Department of Chemistry at CUHK.

In the BASF Kids’ Lab, more than 1,000 primary school students conducted hands-on, colourful chemistry experiments under the guidance of CUHK students and BASF volunteers. The experiments include:

Who’s Inflating the Balloon?

This experiment shows how an acid and a base react to form carbon dioxide (CO2) which will inflate a balloon. This chemical reaction is also applied in many daily uses including fire extinguishers.

Red Cabbage Loves Colours

Children will discover fascinating chemical reactions when they decorate a “butterfly” or “bat” with natural colorant extracted from red cabbage as well as lemon juice and soap. Using everyday materials in an unconventional way, they will decorate a lively animal that can fly on their fingertips.

Water Purification

Children will learn about how waste water can be purified by using safe chemicals and tools.

BASF Kids’ Lab is a free and interactive chemistry education programme designed for kids aged 6 to 12, to discover the world of chemistry through simple and safe hands- on experiments to help them understand how chemistry is everywhere in our daily lives. Since its launch in 1997, the programme has been brought to more than 30 countries and regions across the globe. In Asia Pacific, more than 300,000 kids have participated since 2002. The programme was first introduced in Hong Kong in 2005.

About BASF

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of €64.5 billion in 2017. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at www.basf.com.

About The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Founded in 1963, CUHK is a leading comprehensive research university with a global reputation. Located in the heart of Asia, CUHK has a vision and a mission to combine tradition with modernity, and to bring together China and the West.  Under the University’s unique collegiate system, the programmes and activities offered by its nine colleges complement the formal curricula by delivering whole-person education and pastoral care. The University has eight faculties: Arts, Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Science, and Social Science. Together with the Graduate School, the University offers over 300 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. All faculties are actively engaged in research in a wide range of disciplines, with an array of research institutes and research centres specialising in interdisciplinary research of the highest quality.

CUHK is recognised as the most innovative university in Hong Kong and is ranked 22nd in the Asia-Pacific region by the latest ‘Reuters: Asia Pacific’s Most Innovative Universities’ listing. The University currently has more than 800 granted patents in different jurisdictions worldwide. Some of these patents have been licensed to relevant industries that help bring these innovations to the market to benefit society. In academic year 2016-17, CUHK has received 132 granted patents and filed 223 patent applications for inventions developed in the areas of medical technology, biotechnology, information technology, telecommunications, and materials science.

The 2018 BASF Kids' Lab is held at CUHK.
The 2018 BASF Kids' Lab is held at CUHK.

This experiment shows how an acid and a base react to form CO2 which will inflate a balloon.
This experiment shows how an acid and a base react to form CO2 which will inflate a balloon.

Children learning how waste water can be purified using safe chemicals and tools.
Children learning how waste water can be purified using safe chemicals and tools.

Professor To Ngai, Professor, Department of Chemistry, CUHK (right), and Ms. Daisy Lam, Wai-man, Head of Marketing Communications, Corporate Affairs Asia Pacific, BASF.
Professor To Ngai, Professor, Department of Chemistry, CUHK (right), and Ms. Daisy Lam, Wai-man, Head of Marketing Communications, Corporate Affairs Asia Pacific, BASF.