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Kingsville HS student Mariah Carder embraces the challenges of chemistry and business at BASF’s Science Academy


Mariah Carder of Kingsville District High School will start her college career with a three-credit advantage and a background in the business of chemistry as a graduate of BASF’s eighth annual  Science Academy.

Carder was among 20 high school seniors from around the United States, Canada and Mexico who earned the opportunity to participate in the program designed to prepare students for a career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM).

The two-week summer science program, developed by BASF Corporation and held at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) in Madison, New Jersey, provides students the opportunity to increase their knowledge of chemistry and learn marketable business skills. Working in teams, students use BASF chemistry to formulate their own personal care products – hair gel, shampoo and lotion – and develop a marketing plan. At the end of the program, the student teams presented their product to a panel of BASF executives and FDU academic leaders.

“We want to ignite a passion in students to follow their interests in science and adequately prepare the next generation of leaders in innovation,” said Marcelo Lu, President of BASF Canada. “Our two-week program also promotes the business skills that can help our graduates succeed in the real world.”

Following the curriculum theme, “From Molecules to Marketplace,” students gained hands-on experience in college chemistry labs, while developing a marketing strategy to link their product to the consumer. Students experienced chemistry in action by visiting the BASF Research and Development labs in Iselin, New Jersey, and Tarrytown, New York. They also spoke to cosmetic chemists and subject matter experts to learn about careers in chemistry.

“Exposure, not just to chemistry or science, but also to the fundamentals of entrepreneurship is what this program is all about,” said Dr. Brian Olechnowski, Program Director at FDU. “It’s exciting to be a part of the experiences and progress the students make during the intensive two-week program.”

“Aside from the academics, the best part of BASF’s Science Academy is having the opportunity to travel to new places and have fun with new people,” Carder said.

Students graduate from the program with three transferable college science credits to encourage their pursuit in a STEM field. In addition, FDU offers Science Academy alumni $5,000 scholarships if they elect to attend FDU in the fall of 2019.

Two Science Academy alumni have returned to BASF through the summer hire internship program and the Professional Development Program (PDP). Last year, Science Academy class of 2011 alumnus Kevin Chao joined BASF as a full-time PDP employee in Beaumont, Texas, and is currently working at the BASF facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This fall, 2013 Science Academy graduate Michelle West will join BASF as a PDP. Other successful alumni are attending universities and pursuing degrees in math, chemistry, engineering, biology, medicine, psychology, education and business.

About BASF

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 18,200 employees in North America, and had sales of $17.9 billion in 2017. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit

BASF Canada, headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, has approximately 700 employees at 11 production facilities and offices located across Canada. BASF Canada is a subsidiary of BASF SE, and an affiliate of BASF Corporation. To find out more about BASF’s activities in Canada, visit or follow us on twitter

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of €64.5 billion in 2017. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at

About Fairleigh Dickinson University

Devoted to the preparation of world citizens through global education, Fairleigh Dickinson is New Jersey’s largest private university and features more than 100 liberal arts and professional degree programs, two international campuses, dozens of partnerships with internationally renowned institutions and special programs and status within the United Nations. For more information, go to

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