Achema promotes love for chemistry
Achema, AB organised a traditional celebration for the children of the employees to show them where their parents work. During the event, the attention of the curious little ones was captured by numerous chemistry experiments. The goal is to encourage them to take interest in the chemical engineering sciences and, subsequently, have them join the Achema team.
Attention to the smallest ones
Every two years, Achema organises an event called “The Workplace of Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, and Grandpa” for the children of the employees who work there. The curious little ones go on a guided tour and see what their parents’ workplace looks like in the huge area of the company. This year, for the first time, some surprises were prepared for the future pupils.
“We invited children from the age of 7 to the event. During the tour, the children learned about Achema, took a bus tour around the area and listened to the stories about what is being made and how it works. Of course, most of the children live here in Jonava, so they see many pipes and smokestacks from a distance, but when you see everything from the inside, it looks even more impressive,” says Inga Jakučinskienė, HR and General Affairs Director of Achema.
As the children got off the bus, Achema’s special service vehicles lined up in the territory caught their attention. The children were happy to climb into the fire engines and ambulances, wondered how the technology worked, and when the sirens went off, they got even more attentive and watched what was happening around.
Achema’s representatives admitted they not only wanted to show the children of the employees what their parents’ workplace looks like, but also to make them fall in love with chemistry and engineering.
“We want to educate children from an early age so that they can choose the profession of engineering, because in Lithuania it is difficult to attract students to this field. We hope that perhaps these children will take after their parents and in the future another generation will join the Achema team,” adds I. Jakučinskienė.
All the children who attended the celebration received gifts – white backpacks with drawing materials and caps. This year, for the first time, the initiative by Achema board chairwoman Lidija Lubienė dedicated to the future pupils was implemented. As a result, nearly 40 children of the employees, who will start school for the first time on September 1, have been given first-graders’ kits with the essential tools needed for the start of their education.
The magic of chemistry
In order to excite the curiosity of children in chemistry even more, the event hosted two spectacular performances. Company Gaschema showed the kids a gas show, introduced the tricks of dry ice, and offered some bubbling juice to the curious little ones. A long-term partner of the company, a scientist of Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), who demonstrated a real show of chemical experiments, also aroused love for chemistry.
“It’s one of the ways to show kids that it’s an exciting profession Various shows catch the attention of children, they see the colours of chemical reactions, they smell odours, they can even taste something that makes them very happy,” says Personnel and General Affairs Director of Achema.
“I have prepared some fun experiments that show that chemistry is not just notes, but it really works and can look nice. This could possibly lead them to choose the profession of a chemist or even a chemical engineer,” says Lecturer Dr. Andrius Jaskūnas.
He kept his word and, as a real magician, started to show tricks that simply captured the children sitting around the experiment space. Initially, the scientist gave a brief introduction to how chemical reactions occur, how materials react with each other and change colour, illustrated visually how the state of various materials changes.
Some experiments even attracted the attention of the Achema employees who watched the show of chemical magic performed by the representative of KTU. Telling that a cotton wool stick will light up as soon as he touches it, caught the attention of both children and adults. After showing that the fire could be lit without matches, a group of children immediately lined up around the scientist and wanted to try a trick with fire that they had never seen before.
“You never know which experiment will be the most popular,” – after the experiment with a flammable wand added Dr. A. Jaskūnas.
According to him, engineering specialists in Lithuania are constantly in need, and those who know the magic of chemistry and believe in it will certainly find a promising job.
“The profession of a chemical engineer is a real profession. These are highly demanded and welcome professionals. As universities prepare few people of this profession, they will be in demand and will certainly find a job. Plus, it’s a very creative profession, because there’s a lot of unknowns, a lot to discover, and the chemical engineering itself is something spectacular. There is a lot of space for self expression in the development of new materials, new products, providing the society with what it needs the most and making our lives easier,” adds the scientist of KTU speaking about the boundless possibilities of chemistry.
The Day of Knowledge
Company Achema is also trying to promote an interest in engineering in its employees, this is why every year it greets those who have graduated with a diploma of higher education. This year, as many as seven Achema employees have graduated from university, received education and will now be able to advance their careers. The group of graduates includes a doctoral student who has completed her doctoral studies.
“I have been very successful in chemistry since school, but as an undergraduate student I realised I was going the right direction because I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else except chemistry. As a result, the university invited me to continue my studies, so step by step I finally defended my Ph. D. I really enjoyed what I was doing and the whole scientific space around me. In the final thesis I synthesized new electroactive materials. It was very interesting because it was a new field for me. Generally speaking, it is interesting to create something new in the field of chemistry, but there are many areas where you can improve your knowledge because it is an area where nothing is standing still,” says Raimonda Grinienė, the employee of Achema Laboratory who has defended her PhD.
This year, as many as seven Achema employees have graduated from universities with a diploma of higher education. Four of them were awarded Bachelor’s, two received Master’s and one was granted a Doctoral degree. “We really value higher education. Every employee knows that if they are uneducated, they will not be able to climb the top, as dangerous jobs require specials certificates. Every specialist in production must have a university degree. That is why we have been organising the Day of Knowledge for several years to welcome those who have graduated from higher education institutions,” says I. Jakučinskienė, Personnel and General Affairs Director of Achema.
She noted that Achema currently employs around 1,300 people and 37% of them have a university degree.