Research Week at Wesel Elementary School: Children Become Explorers

  • House of Junior Researchers educational project starts again in Wesel
  • Around 170 school and kindergarten children have done research
  • Numerous creative experiments around construction and communication

Wesel, March 30, 2023 – How can one cover a very long distance? And how can a message be transmitted over a noisy street? Children of the Konrad Duden community elementary school and the German Red Cross Abenteuerland daycare center tackled these questions. In about 50 small groups, ideas were developed, sketches drawn, and the children’s constructions tested. Recently, the some 170 young researchers proudly presented their ideas to parents and other interested parties at ALTANA’s conference center in Wesel. The specialty chemicals company supports the Research Week as part of the House of Junior Researchers project for early education of children in the natural sciences.

To find out how to move over longer distances, the school and kindergarten children investigated, for example, why vehicles stop at some point if no new momentum is provided and what influence upward and downward thrust have on airplanes and drones. In addition to discovery, the small groups also work together, because good ideas can only be developed and implemented as a team.

Natural phenomena spark curiosity for STEM subjects

For one week, first- and second-graders and kindergarteners participated in the House of Junior Researchers educational project in Wesel. Attendants from the elementary school, the daycare center, and BYK, a division of ALTANA AG, as well many parents supported the children as they made their first learning experiences in mathematics, information technology, natural sciences, and technology (STEM subjects).

“Researchers’ Week is a great concept for arousing children’s enthusiasm for natural phenomena and technological issues. The curiosity with which the young researchers experiment and solve everyday tasks shows how important it is to build understanding and knowledge in the field of natural sciences at an early age," says Dr. Tammo Boinowitz, a member of ALTANA AG’s Management Board and the president of the BYK division. “We would particularly like to thank the German Red Cross Abenteuerland daycare center, the Konrad Duden community elementary school, and all the helpers. This important educational project would not be possible without their commitment.”

Awakening a spirit of discovery through play

The Konrad Duden community elementary school, the German Red Cross Abenteuerland daycare center, and BYK in Wesel have been collaborating successfully on this early education project since 2011. They are network partners of the Berlin-based House of Junior Researchers foundation. The latter aims to arouse the interest of daycare and elementary school children in scientific contexts and opens up opportunities for them to encounter mathematics, information technology, natural sciences, and technology at a young age. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research has been funding the early education initiative since 2008. 

“It’s always impressive to observe how many creative and diverse solutions the little researchers develop in the small groups. During the Research Weeks, the children impressively demonstrated that joy, courage, and teamwork are crucial characteristics of explorers," says Alfred Dallarosa, head of coatings additives training and education at BYK.


ALTANA is a global leader in true specialty chemicals. The Group offers innovative, environmentally compatible solutions for coating manufacturers, paint and plastics processors, the printing and packaging industries, the cosmetics sector, and the electrical and electronics industry. The product range includes additives, specialty coatings and adhesives, effect pigments, sealants and compounds, impregnating resins and varnishes, and testing and measuring instruments. ALTANA’s four divisions, BYK, ECKART, ELANTAS, and ACTEGA, all occupy a leading position in their target markets with respect to quality, product solution expertise, innovation, and service.

Headquartered in Wesel, Germany, the ALTANA Group has more than 48 production facilities and 63 service and research laboratories worldwide. Throughout the Group, about 7,000 people work to ensure the worldwide success of ALTANA. In 2022, ALTANA achieved sales of more than € 3 billion. About 7 percent of the total sales is invested in research and development each year. Its high earning power and high growth rate make ALTANA one of the world’s most innovative, fastest growing, and most profitable chemical companies.

About BYK:
BYK is a leading global supplier of specialty chemicals. The company’s innovative additives and differentiated solutions optimize product and material properties as well as production and application processes. Amongst other things, BYK additives improve scratch resistance and surface gloss, the mechanical strength or flow behavior of materials, and properties such as UV- and light stability or flame retardancy. In the field of quality assurance, BYK’s measuring and testing instruments serve to effectively assess appearance and physical properties.

The company’s customers include manufacturers of coatings and printing inks,plastics, adhesives and sealants, as well as cleaners, floor coatings, and lubricants. BYK additives are also successfully used in the construction chemistry, oil and gas, and foundry industries.

BYK has a global network of subsidiaries and operates production sites in Germany (Wesel, Kempen, Moosburg, Schkopau), the Netherlands (Deventer, Nijverdal), and the UK (Widnes), in the USA (Wallingford, Chester, Gonzales, Louisville, Earth City and Pompano Beach), and in China (Shanghai,Tongling). The company is part of the ALTANA Group and employs a workforce of more than 2,500 people worldwide.