stimulating children’s interest in science
Bayer’s Science Lab for Fun Chemistry and Biology for Children – Baylab – is a Bayer CSR initiative with the key aim of awakening and stimulating an interest in the natural sciences among young people at an early age. The Baylab student laboratories are an addition to school, promoting the fun of discovery, and thus linking scientific understanding with their immediate experience. In Bulgaria, the project began seven years ago with a couple of science lab sessions per day during a week, and after several years, it evolved into several weeks with whole day sessions. In partnership with third party science organizations, additional sessions were run during the weekends.
Action organised Baylab in Bulgaria for two consecutive years in 2019 and 2020. In 2019, the initiative was carried out under the motto “Little scientists, big discoveries”. Volunteers from Bayer Bulgaria and the Natural Sciences Olympic Teams Association demonstrated short life-science experiments from the fields of biology, chemistry and physics. The demonstrated experiments are traditionally developed to be more interactive and exciting, also tailored to children’s age groups. Action was responsible for the full lab equipment, including finding and negotiating locations, providing the materials for the experiments, coordination with teachers and schools, and schedules and coordination of the volunteers in the different cities.
Baylab was held in October and mid-November 2019 in Bulgaria’s four biggest cities – Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and for the first time in Burgas – and enjoyed great interest among teachers, parents, and children. That year, fun experiments were also demonstrated to the little patients in the paediatric onco-haematology wards of three hospitals.
To communicate the initiative’s goals more widely among children and teenagers, Baylab partnered with the famous vlogger Stan, who made Instagram and YouTube videos of experiments carried out by himself, and Teen Station project – a school media network. Bayer aimed to engage students in science by “speaking their language” about science, through radio programmes, videos, articles and blogs, with content exclusively created by schoolchildren.
In 2020, following the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, school closures, and distance learning models, Baylab Bulgaria needed to pivot to become an online platform that gave teachers, parents, and children the chance to gain scientific insights through adapted and specially developed content, including video experiments, science articles and tips, and downloadable pdfs with experiments. For the teachers and students, Action developed a high-quality visual of the Periodic Table of Elements in Bulgarian that could be downloaded and printed in large format and put on a wall.
The communications approach included partnerships with KOLs (science organizations, state institutions, NGOs), as well as non-media partners, to reach the target audience (teachers and parents). As Bayer does not have a social media channel in Bulgaria, Action leveraged the SM channels of partners to engage with Baylab’s content and generate traffic to the website, while also bringing on board a mum-influencer to disseminate information among parents.
In partnership with the Ministry of Education, Action developed a database of schools and science teachers, and sent out a regular newsletter with updates on the new content available on the website.
- More than 1600 kids (6-12 years old) had the opportunity to experience science and conduct experiments themselves at Bayer’s student research labs
- 100+ pieces of coverage
- 14,368,304 traditional and social media impressions
- 2,986 kindergartens, schools, and support centres in 25 cities reached via e-mail (newsletter)