Making locations more livable
Covestro has developed a donation strategy specifically tailored to the needs in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). It is based on feedback from those who benefit from its donations. Discussions with representatives from the local communicities help Covestro to determine the areas in which the company's support is needed most.
Almost all municipalities mentioned digitalization as a key area for improvement. Schools and other educational institutions, in particular, often do not have access to the proper equipment. Hence, Covestro donations mainly support projects that accelerates the digital transformation around its three NRW sites in Leverkusen, Dormagen and Krefeld-Uerdingen and make municipalities brighter places to live.
Donation projects in Leverkusen
Training center for teachers: Media studio
In 2019, Covestro supported the construction of a Media studio in Leverkusen. A financial contribution from the company helped the city to build a central, innovative training center for teachers with state-of-the-art equipment - including interactive, mobile touchscreens, notebooks, tablets, and teaching software. The media studio offers teachers the opportunity to deal with challenges associated with digitization through practical exercises.
Teachers need to have access to state-of-the-art hardware and software. This is the only way they can align their lessons with the latest digital technology and teach students how to handle new media – in particular as they prepare for their professional careers. The Media studio helps teachers to structure their lessons in a more effective, diverse and productive way. This is something everyone can benefit from.
Pop-up digital workshop
Programming the robot "Dash", creating an e-book and producing animated films - elementary school children learn all this in a playful way in workshops at the Leverkusen Media Studio. Additional in-service training of the pop-up digital workshops for teachers helps to integrate digital learning content more effectively into lessons. Vacation offers specially tailored to families complement this service provided by the Municipal Education Office, which Covestro has supported with a donation for one year.
Exciting iPad lessons
The fourth graders at GGS Heinrich-Lübke-Straße are using iPads to design a scary story book, analyze movements in physical education and find right angles. The elementary school students skillfully use the 64 devices in lessons and thus constantly improve their digital skills. The elementary school's booster club was able to purchase the iPads in summer 2021 thanks to the financial support of Leverkusen-based companies, with Covestro providing the bulk of the donation.
iPads in German remedial classes
Many pupils at Theodor Wuppermann School in Leverkusen had to leave their home countries because of war. They are supposed to learn German in special support groups within two years. Thanks to a Covestro donation, the school can now use 32 iPads in remedial classes. The tablets help the children to learn German playfully and intuitively at their own pace. This is another important step for the integration in their new environment.
It is the beginning of a new era at the Gemeinschaftsgrundschule (GGS) Büscherhof in Leichlingen: Thanks to a Covestro donation, the community school was able to purchase two digital blackboards. Teachers can now prepare children with special needs more individually for lessons or revise them. The interactive devices illustrate learning content much better and really motivate the students to participate.
Playfully arouse interest
As of June 2021, Leverkusen’s public library has been encouraging children to understand digital technology through play thanks to a Covestro donation. Two sets with the Beebot – floor-mounted robots, which look like bees – offer a child-friendly introduction to programming. But there is more: Kits with books, games, and teaching materials animate children to read, tell stories, and try things out. This makes science topics fun for primary and pre-school children!
Children in refugee accommodations find it particularly difficult to participate in digital classes – especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Homeschooling has been made possible at the Sandstraße community facility run by the city of Leverkusen since February 2021. A Covestro donation of €3,000 was used to purchase laptops, headphones, and printers as well as to install a Wi-Fi connection.
Balkantrasse booster club
The Balkantrasse is a unique hiking and cycling pathway built on a former railway from Opladen to Remscheid. It offers an exciting getaway to the Bergische and Oberbergische Land. Volunteers of the “Balkantrasse” booster club keep the section in Leverkusen – a route that stretches over six kilometer – in shape. Tree maintenance and cutting work on steep slopes and bridges has been carried out by professional companies since the Covestro donation in 2019.
Passenger benches for the Rheinisch-Bergisch district
Passenger benches have been available in Burscheid, Kürten, Leichlingen and Odenthal since October 2018. They expand the existing mobility concepts of the municipalities. The passenger benches offer people without vehicle the opportunity to stay mobile. When someone sit on the bench, they can use notice boards to show passing drivers that they would like a ride to a neighboring town. This promotes a sense of community in rural communities, while protecting the environment.
Interactive white boards for community school in Leverkusen
Since July 2018, five interactive whiteboards have enabled teachers at the community school Gemeinschaftsgrundschule (GGS) Im Steinfeld to use multimedia to teach some of the lessons. This helps students learn more effectively. They also gain additional skills to handle information more responsibly and confidently.
Donation projects in Dormagen
DINT Forum as a multi-media learning facility
Covestro supported the construction of a central, alternative learning facility at the Volkshochschule Dormagen in 2018. The DINT Forum is designed to offer school children, trainees, companies and associations a multi-media learning environment. Guests can learn more about topics related to digitalization, computer sciences, natural sciences and technology.
Thanks to a donation from Covestro, the training room at the DINT Forum was equipped with a digital active panel. It allows students to write or draw all at the same time. In addition, the active panel can upload content and materials directly to connected mobile devices, supporting collaborative learning and teaching. iPads, laptops, printers, and instructional software are now available in this “digital classroom” to ensure a multimedia learning experience.
Experience world heritage up close
Three exhibition rooms bring Dormagen's roman history to life with interactive applications. Thanks to a donation from Covestro, the historical society developed 3D animations and information films that explain the city's UNESCO World Heritage Site with its equestrian fort, camp and brickworks in an age-appropriate way. The digital media enable children and adults to take an impressive journey back in time to antiquity and experience history first hand.
New coworking space
As of November 2021, the public library of Dormagen has been offering citizens a place for mobile learning and working. The new coworking space – a place for collaboration – is separated acoustically and spatially from the rest of the library by glass walls. In this way a quiet working atmosphere is guaranteed. Thanks to a Covestro donation, the room was furnished and equipped with a multi-touch screen, two notebooks, 15 tablets, a multifunction printer and a WLAN connection.
Prepared for emergencies
In the event of a cardiac arrest, every second counts. With defibrillators, first responders can easily provide first aid to an affected person in case of emergency. Covestro has therefore donated three additional defibrillators to the city of Dormagen, which have been made available to the public in the city – for example at the Bertha-von-Suttner Comprehensive School. This increases the chances of the person concerned surviving without permanent damage.
The small amphitheater in Dormagen is a true eye-catcher. Here is where citizens can connect to public Wi-Fi while taking a small break from their everyday life. For city insitutions such as the adult education center, the city library or schools and kindergartens, the amphitheatre is the perfect location to hold events, readings, and games outside. Students, who study at the nearby DINT Forum, can also work on their learning material using their iPads on the stairs of the digital square. Covestro made the construction of the small amphitheater possible with a donation of 25,000 euros.
Free Wi-Fi in Dormagen
Alongside the Verein Freifunk Rheinland e.V. and the city of Dormagen, Covestro connected four central locations (at the Dormagen and Nievenheim train stations, the skater and biker park in Horrem and Helmut-Schmidt-Platz) to a extensive, public Wi-Fi network in Dormagen. Since 2018, citizens have access to fast, free internet in these areas.
Laptops for Raphaelshaus
In September 2018, Covestro performed technical overhauls and updates of laptops for the Jugendhilfezentrum Raphaelshaus in Dormagen. Children and adolescents can now use modern devices to do their homework, research, write applications, or play games, or use the devices for creative applications as well.
Donation projects in Krefeld-Uerdingen
Promoting media competence in Krefeld-Uerdingen: Zentrum für digitale Lernwelten
As of November 2018, schools in Krefeld have a central location for digital education at the Zentrum für digitale Lernwelten. The center is a place where teachers can take training courses and learn about digital devices and media. The offer is also available to school children for extra-curricular learning.
Thanks to support from Covestro, the center was able to purchase modern presentation technologies such as projectors, a smart TV and smart board, learning software like Ozebot, Calliope and Lego WeDo, and laptops, 3D printers and an audio system. With the help of learning apps and content tailored to individual learning levels, students can learn more about algorithms, programming and the control of complex technologies.
This allows them to program Lego robots, for instance, which then automatically move blocks from A to B to load and unload them. Students learn basic digital skills and more challenging programming abilities in a entertaining manner. Teachers also benefit from it. They can decide which devices and programs are suitable for their lessons.
Learn programming in a practical way
The computer science lessons for the seventh-grade students at the Kaiserplatz Comprehensive High School are really varied: they learn the programming language "Python", set up the game "Four Wins" on an LED matrix and build a mini-computer, the "Raspberry Pi". This practical and low-threshold introduction to the world of programming is made possible by a cooperation with the Coding School Niederrhein. Covestro supported the pilot project at the Krefeld school with a donation.
Fit for the digital future
As of November 2021, six interactive information boards at Geldern Comprehensive School have provided information about the latest news, timetable shifts and menus. All information can also be accessed conveniently via app. In addition, the students at the all-day school, which is based in the vicinity of Covestro's Krefeld production site, can now develop robot models with 32 Lego technic sets. They program the necessary control software themselves. Covestro made the expansion of the digital infrastructure possible with a donation.
Industry 4.0 mini plant
Pupils at Berufskolleg Uerdingen learn how an industrial plant works in project-oriented lessons in the field of automation technology. One of the tasks is to build and program a mini plant, in which ordering, production planning and manufacturing are automatically interlinked. Covestro donated a 3D printer and control elements to get the project started. Pupils can now create further Industry 4.0 mini plants that build on the prototype.
FabritzLab establishes cooperations
The FabritzLab at high school Fabritianum is an school research laboratory. It offers students great experimenting and researching conditions since September 2021. Moreover, the FabritzLab increases cooperation between Krefeld schools, companies, the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences and local association. This has mainly two benefits: the promotion of scientific talents and STEM subjects. Thanks to a Covestro donation, the booster club was able to purchase the movable ceiling systems for media supply.
“LegoWeDo” learning application
Learning how to program is now way easier for school children of Krefeld's primary school. In June 2020, 18 primary schools each received a class set of 16 kits of the learning application “Lego Education WeDo 2.0.” The kit contains around 280 individual parts and instructions for 17 exciting, child-friendly research projects that students and teachers can build in 40 learning units. By completing the kits, children have the opportunity to learn the basic logic of programming in an entertaining way. Students start off by building a model with the Lego bricks before bringing it to life using a simple and intuitive programming language. As a result, dealing with new digital technology becomes more natural for primary school children. Covestro funded the program of the „Zentrum für digitale Lernwelten“ (ZfdL) - Center for digital learning) with 49,000 euros.
Now, it is easy as pie for Krefeld's primary school students to program.
iPads for elementary schools
Thanks to a €43,000 Covestro donation, five inner-city Krefeld elementary schools could each afford a class set of 16 iPads with rolling cases and accessories in March 2021. These elementary schools have many students with a migration background or with little knowledge of German and special educational needs. Now these children will also receive pedagogical training to learn independently and interactively.
Display cases for Uerdinger Heimatbund in Krefeld
The Uerdinger Heimatbund wants to preserve the history of the industrial district of Krefeld-Uerdingen and bring it back to life. To fulfill its mission, the historical asscociation runs the Heimat- und Industriemuseum in Uerdingen to maintain its traditions and supports historical preservation. Since July 2020, the association has been informing the public about its extensive activities in a new display case. Covestro supported the purchase of the info case with a donation.
Berufskolleg Uerdingen: Experiments with “renewable energy”
Since October 2018, students at the Berufskolleg Uerdingen have been planning hands-on science experiments using a digital measurement data acquisition system. The projects at the vocational college focussed mainly on producing renewable energy. The experimental equipment includes modern electronic sensors, a solar panel and a wind turbine kit. Measured values and results are recorded, stored digitally, and can be analyzed on a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone afterwards.
Digital measurement data acquisition system for Gymnasium Marienschule
As of September 2018, school children at the Gymnasiums Marienschule – a high school in Krefeld-Uerdingen – can transmit measured data they have recorded with the digital measurement data acquisition system during class to a USB stick and evaluate the results at home. This helps them learn to work with, manage and analyze large amounts of data early on. This approach helps school childrend to learn skills that will be crucial in their later professional lives.
This is how they learn to manage and analyze large quantaties of data.
Playgrounds for children in need
The non-profit Diakoniewerk Duisburg has operated the Jugendhilfeeinrichtung Scheifeshütte for families in need since 2018. Employees of the youth service institution, which is situated near Krefeld, support resident children of different age groups. Thanks to a donation from Covestro, a large nest swing and sandbox were installed for the outdoor area of the facility in spring 2019. The new playground equipment is fun and entertaining for children as well as their parents.