August, 01, 2016 – Adithya Ramaswami of Whitehouse, OH, jump-started his college experience and learned the business of chemistry at the sixth annual BASF Science Academy. Adithya, a student at Anthony Wayne High School, represented Ohio among 20 high school seniors interested in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) for a career.
The two-week summer science program, developed by BASF Corporation, is held at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) in Madison, New Jersey. Working in teams, students use BASF chemistry to formulate their own personal care products and develop a go-to-market plan and strategy. At the end of their two weeks, students present their product to a panel of BASF executives and FDU academic leaders.
“The Academy is a wonderful opportunity to expose bright young minds to the wonders of chemistry and business in a college setting,” said Paul Marshall, Technical Director for BASF in Whitehouse. “It’s rewarding to see how such a diverse group of teenagers grow together in a dynamic learning environment. Once they return to their schools and local communities, our hope is that they will share what they have learned and inspire other students to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering or math.”
Following the curriculum theme, “From Molecules to Marketplace”, students gain invaluable hands-on experience in college chemistry labs while developing a marketing strategy to link their product to the consumer. Students also experience chemistry in action by visiting BASF Research and Development labs in Tarrytown, NY and meeting with cosmetic chemists and subject matter experts. Through exposure to real world chemistry, students observe how the fundamental building blocks of many every day products are comprised of chemistry.
“The partnership between business and academia is a successful model for helping students understand the practical applications of what they learn,” said Dr. Brian Olechnowski, Program Director at FDU. “I am excited to be a part of the experiences and progress the students make during the intensive two week program.”
Students graduate from the program with two transferable college credits to encourage their pursuit in a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) field. In addition, FDU offers Science Academy alumni $5,000 scholarships if they choose to attend FDU in the fall of 2017.
“The future is dependent on the minds of the upcoming generations to make the necessary changes to keep our planet safe,” said Ramaswami. “I have a lot to thank BASF for. Not just for giving me the opportunity to experience college life, meet others, learn chemistry and business, but for opening my eyes to new possibilities and sparking an interest in things I would have never thought of before.”
Several Science Academy alumni have returned to BASF through the summer hire internship program and the Professional Development Program (PDP). Most notably, Science Academy class of 2011 alumni, Kevin Chao, joined BASF as a full-time PDP. Kevin will begin working for BASF in Beaumont, TX in September.
See what the 2016 Science Academy students had to say about the program: https://youtu.be/yRWmMgmcPCc