BASF brings science to life for elementary school students

It was a cold day in Durham, North Carolina, but that didn’t stop 50 BASF volunteers from warming the hearts and minds of the fourth and fifth graders at W.G. Pearson Elementary School for BASF’s 2019 Day of Service. Led by the BASF Community Outreach Employee Resource Group (ERG), the purpose of the day was to get students of all backgrounds excited about science and to provide insight into careers in the agriculture industry.


The BASF volunteers intrigued the students with three hands-on science experiments: creating butterflies through chromatography; filtering water contaminants; and, of course, the ever kid-popular activity of making slime.


Students began the day with learning about water contamination and filtering. BASF employees Sarah Howard and Luke Bozeman started their sessions by teaching each class the science behind removing water impurities. The students were fascinated and related the experiments to real-life experiences, such as filtering dirt and “fish poop” out of water during camping trips.


“The goal of our Day of Service is to spark student interest in science and agriculture,” said Paul Rea, Senior Vice President, BASF Agricultural Solutions North America. “We are proud to partner with Durham County Public Schools to show students how interesting and important science can be, which can greatly increase their drive to pursue scientific careers.”


The students’ excitement could be summed up with the table discussion of several fourth graders where one student exclaimed, “we don’t have to learn today!” while the others responded in agreement that it was going to be a day of all fun. Indeed, there was learning and fun to be had, and the BASF volunteers believed they had accomplished their goal of creating enthusiasm for science. In return, they felt proud to be a part of something that might positively affect the lives of the kids at W.G. Pearson Elementary School.


“The scholars get the enrichment of having all these people from BASF to work with them, and do these amazing activities,” said Alan Slavin, STEM Director at the W.G. Pearson Elementary School. “I wish I had this kind of involvement when I was a kid, and I hope we can keep the partnership with BASF growing.”


Thank you to the BASF employees who dedicated their time, knowledge and smiles to the 2019 Day of Service held at W.G. Pearson Elementary School, Durham, North Carolina.

Paul Rea, Senior Vice President, BASF Agricultural Solutions North America, has a blast making slime with the students, and also takes time to answer questions about his accent by teaching them a little geography.


The students are proud of their chromatography designs.

Martin Horrocks, Director of Seed Treatment NA, adds color to the students’ slime.

Sarah Howard, Product Manager of Specialty Crops, teaches the students the science behind water filtration.

For more photos of BASF’s 2019 Day of Service, please click here:


If you are interested in learning more about the BASF Community Outreach ERG, contact Carrie Gray, Community Relations Manager, at