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The Warsaw Voice » Business » November 30, 2010
Business & Economy
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BASF Becomes Partner of Copernicus Science Center
November 30, 2010   
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Warsaw’s Copernicus Science Center, which opened in November, is one of the largest and most modern science museums in Europe. Its primary objectives are to inspire social dialogue on science, stimulate scientific curiosity among the public and help visitors learn about and explore the world. The center makes use of interactive exhibitions, live demonstrations, science workshops, debates, discussions and other activities that mix science and art.

The center was founded as an institution of culture by the City of Warsaw, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the Ministry of Education, which are also providing funds for the facility.

BASF Polska, the Polish division of BASF, a leading global chemical company, became the exclusive partner of the center’s chemistry lab in September. The team-up will last five years initially. The lab will open to visitors in the second quarter of 2011.

Science and learning are particularly important to the two partners. “BASF has built and operated laboratories for children and youth in Ludwigshafen, Germany, the home of the largest integrated chemical complex in the world and the BASF head office,” said Michael Hepp, chairman of the BASF Polska management board.

Every year in Ludwigshafen, Hepp said, BASF provides classes for tens of thousands of students from schools across Germany. BASF has also helped establish similar chemistry labs in 15 countries around the world. “I feel extremely honored and proud to be able to take part in the start of our company’s first such initiative in Central Europe,” he said.

Besides providing financial support for the chemistry lab, BASF Polska will also work together with the center on chemical experiments designed for students. BASF has for years designed and refined such experiments at similar labs around the world.

“We find the partnership with BASF extremely important not only because of the financial side of it,” said Robert Firmhofer, director of the Copernicus Science Center. “We are also looking forward to joint science-related projects that will combine BASF’s experience in creating laboratories in Germany with our expertise in informal education and the ability to work with different types of audiences.” He said such projects will primarily benefit future users of Copernicus laboratories.

“Remembering that 2011 marks 100 years since Polish chemist Marie Curie-Skłodowska received the Nobel Prize, I believe the timing is perfect for us to start working with the Copernicus Science Center on the joint project—that is, the chemistry lab,” said Hepp.

The chemistry laboratory will be on the second floor of the Copernicus Science Center, which is on Wybrzeże Ko¶ciuszkowskie Street in Warsaw. It is one of the center’s four educational laboratories, the other three being physics, biology and robotics. Every year, the chemistry lab will be visited by around 10,000 students from schools across Poland.
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