Flanders set a new world record in the Guinness Book of Records. As part of Chemistry Week, 562 enthusiastic students from 18 primary schools took up the challenge of creating the Biggest Laboratory in Flanders at Technopolis®.
The attempt to set a record is the initiative of essenscia, the federation of the chemical industry and life sciences, and Technopolis®, the Flemish action centre for science and technology. Under the direction of American chemistry professor Bassam Shakhashiri (in picture below) the students made bath salts, hair gel and toothpaste. This marked the launch of Chemistry Week. At a variety of different locations around the country youngsters aged between 10 and 18 were able to plunge into the wonderful world of chemistry.
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Flemish minister of Innovation, Ingrid Lieten and professor Shakhashiri (see below picture) gave the starting signal for Chemistry Week: "It was exactly 100 years ago that Marie Curie won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. During the same year, 1911, Ernest Solvay founded the International Association for Chemists.
Today we are faced with great social challenges such as global warming and an ageing population. We need young people with fresh ideas to find solutions. As part of my approach, I try to ensure that more young people opt for scientific studies so that we can maintain our leading position in the world in the future. The fact that Ernest Solvay was a Belgian who acquired world renown with discoveries in the field of chemistry is something we can be proud of. And while Marie Curie was not Belgian, she was a woman. I hope that this fact will inspire young girls to think about a future in the world of research."
Visit Professor Shakhashiri's website: "Science is fun".
Source : Press Release essenscia 28-02-2011
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