Stuttgart, December 17, 2021. Small white lab coats and big goggles – the Fehling Lab offers school students the chance to experience chemistry first-hand. Every year, around 6,000 children and young people visit this experimental laboratory, which offers school students the opportunity to gain a better understanding of nature and technology, using everything from simple scientific experiments to complex microwave experiments. The laboratory is a joint project, developed by the Stuttgart and Hohenheim universities and it celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. Since the project began, the Chemical Industry Fund (FCI), together with associations in Baden-Württemberg, have provided the project with more than half a million euros in funding. This year, the organizers will also receive EUR 20,000. The sum was symbolically handed over to Dr. Marco Spurk and Prof. Dr. Peter Menzel from the Fehling-Lab by Dr. Tobias Pacher from Chemie.BW - the associations of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries in Baden-Württemberg.
Tobias Pacher sees the Fehling Lab as an important educational facility: "Practical work is absolutely vital for school students. Children can only really grasp and understand something when they have done it themselves, which is why we have supported the project from the very beginning." Pacher went on to say that the lab awakens and encourages the natural curiosity and enthusiasm that school students show toward natural phenomena. After all, Baden-Württemberg's chemical sector, which urgently needs well-trained graduates, also benefits from this excellent educational program in the subject of natural sciences.
The experimental laboratory was founded by Prof. Dr. Peter Menzel. The Fehling Lab is both a student laboratory for natural sciences, especially chemistry, and an advanced training center for educators and teachers from all kinds of schools. Furthermore, it is also a teaching and learning laboratory in the chemistry teacher degree program. The training courses on offer combine subjects from the current curriculum with current research findings, while the focus in the school laboratory is on encouraging interest in the natural sciences. The learning and teaching laboratory also offers students the opportunity to put their theoretical didactic and pedagogical knowledge into practice in direct contact with school classes.
About the Chemical Industry Fund (FCI)
As the sponsoring organization of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), the FCI has been supporting basic research, young scientists and the teaching of chemistry in schools since 1950. For example, the fund awards numerous scholarships and promotes academic chemistry research in Germany.
In addition, the fund also presents prizes and awards to scientists, teachers, textbook authors, and school students.