Local students explore chemistry, business at BASF Science Academy _lowres

Photo provided by Jolen Stein -- Lawrence Brown, of Donaldsonville High School, left, and Aidan Reid, of East Ascension High School, recently participated in the fifth annual BASF Science Academy held at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey.

Lawrence Brown, of Donaldsonville High School, and Aidan Reid, of East Ascension High School, recently took part in the fifth annual BASF Science Academy, a two-week summer science program developed by BASF Corp. held at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey.

“The Science Academy aspires to develop the technology-based workforce of the future by exposing students to practical business applications and potential careers in chemistry,” said Tom Yura, senior vice president and manager for BASF in Geismar.

“The partnership between business and academia is a successful model for helping students to understand the practical applications of what they are learning,” said Amber Charlebois, associate professor of chemistry at FDU.

Rising seniors who have demonstrated a record of academic excellence with at least one year of high school chemistry and a strong interest in pursuing a degree in science are invited to participate in the Science Academy.

Students learn from FDU professors and interact with BASF scientists and business leaders through lectures, hands-on lab experiments and field trips. The students work in teams using BASF chemistry to formulate their own personal care products for which they develop a marketing plan and present to a panel of BASF executives and FDU academic leaders.

Students graduate from the program with two transferable college science credits. FDU also offers graduates $5,000 scholarships if they choose to attend FDU in fall 2016.

BASF covers the full cost of the program, including student tuition and travel.

“I liked learning how chemistry and business were integrated because it allowed us to do hands-on activities and at the same time be exposed to business and marketing,” Brown said. “I think it allows one to become more familiar with the marketing process prior to opening a business or starting a company.”

“The Science Academy has been an eye-opening experience because there is so much more to the industry than I’ve been exposed to in the classroom,” Reid said. “It is because of the Science Academy that I now see a variety of career possibilities which makes me excited for my future.”