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New Bayer, United Nations Partnership Brings International Environment and Art Competition to Local Elementary and Middle Schools
Date:12/17/2007

NEW MARTINSVILLE, W.Va., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an effort to help prepare today's students to become tomorrow's environmental stewards, Bayer Corporation and the United Nations Environment Programme's North American Regional Office (UNEP RONA) today announced a new World Environment Day partnership and launched the International Children's Painting Competition in Bayer MaterialScience New Martinsville partner schools.

The International Children's Painting Competition (ICPC) invites elementary and middle school students ages six to 14 from around the world to learn more about the environment and express that knowledge creatively through art. The ICPC is a signature program of UNEP's annual World Environment Day activities. Established by UNEP in 1972, World Environment Day is celebrated each year on June 5 in a different global host city. The theme of World Environment Day and the International Children's Painting Competition also changes each year. This year's theme is Climate Change: Actions We Can Take Now.

This partnership with UNEP RONA and the ICPC also marks the newest local programming component of Bayer's national award-winning Making Science Make Sense(R) initiative which advances science literacy across the United States through inquiry-based, hands-on science learning, employee volunteerism and public education.

"With this new partnership and by introducing the International Children's Painting Competition in our area schools, our goal is to help today's students make the important connection between science literacy and the environment, while reinforcing the notion that everyone has a responsibility when it comes to environmental and climate protection," explained Debby Stauver, Bayer New Martinsville's MSMS liaison.

Elisabeth Guilbaud-Cox, Deputy Director of UNEP's Regional Office for North America, added, "We are extremely proud and excited to be working with Bayer here in North America and commend the company for supporting an out-of-the-box approach to traditional science education that uses the arts as a way to foster the next generation of environmentalists."

About the International Children's Painting Competition

The ICPC is open to all elementary and middle school students ages six to 14. Artworks must be done on either letter or legal size paper and can be done using crayons, colored pencils, watercolors, oils, etc. The style is free. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2008. For complete entry rules and conditions, please visit http://www.BayerUS.com/MSMS.

First place winners are selected from each UNEP region including Africa; Asia and the Pacific; West Asia; Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; and, North America. There are cash prizes involved and these winners are awarded with a fully-paid trip for themselves and their chaperones to the main WED celebrations on June 5, 2008. This year those celebrations will take place in Wellington, New Zealand.

In addition, other winners from the six UNEP regions are celebrated at special World Environment festivities held in the regional host cities.

All regional winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2008.

About Making Science Make Sense in New Martinsville

Making Science Make Sense (MSMS) is Bayer's company-wide initiative that advances science literacy through hands-on, inquiry-based science learning, employee volunteerism and public education. Currently, Bayer's New Martinsville site is one of 12 Bayer sites around the country that operate local MSMS programs, which together feature a national volunteer corps of more than 1,000 employees.

In New Martinsville, Bayer has formed Partnerships in Education with five local schools--Magnolia High School, Washington Lands Elementary School, St. Francis Xavier School, Our Lady of Peace School, and St. Michael Parish School. Some of the science-related activities include chemical demonstrations in the classroom or at other special programs, plant tours for science classes, class visits to the NASA Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling Jesuit University, and outstanding science and math student awards. Also, Bayer employees participate in career fairs, serve as judges for science fairs, and help students and parents on "how to do" a science fair project. Two of the partner elementary schools participate in ORSANCO's (Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission) Riverwatch Program with the help of Bayer employees who are involved in the partnership. This program includes sampling and testing the quality of water in the Ohio River. The Bayer/PPG Community Advisory Panel (CAP) sponsors a mini-grant program for local schools to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of science and environmental issues. The program funds projects that enrich science classroom experiences or carry out extracurricular science activities. Finally, the Bayer-spearheaded WV- Handle on Science Project is a science education reform program that implements the National Science Resources Center hands-on, inquiry-based curriculum into elementary school classrooms.

About Bayer Corporation

Bayer Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international health care, nutrition and innovative materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany. In North America, Bayer had 2006 net sales of 7.8 billion euros and employed 17,200 at year end. Bayer's three subgroups, Bayer HealthCare, Bayer CropScience and Bayer MaterialScience, improve people's lives through a broad range of essential products that help diagnose, prevent and treat diseases; protect crops and enhance yields; and advance automobile safety and durability. To download Bayer's Sustainable Development Report, visit http://www.Bayer.com.

About United Nations Environment Programme

Established in 1972 following the United Nation's Conference on the Human Environment, UNEP's mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

About Bayer and UNEP

Bayer AG is the first company in the world to forge a long-term partnership with UNEP in the area of youth and environment. The partners first began cooperating on youth environmental projects in Asia in the late 1990s. In 2004, Bayer and UNEP signed a framework agreement to globalize this partnership, which, in August this year, was extended by another three years. The partners have jointly organized a dozen environmental projects for young people around the world, including the TUNZA International Youth Conference, the Young Environmental Envoys Program, Eco-Minds Youth Environmental Forum and the International Children's Painting Competition held in conjunction with World Environment Day. Bayer Corporation in the United States supports UNEP's World Environment Day activities in North America.

Further information on the partnership between UNEP and Bayer is available on the Internet at: http://www.unep.bayer.com


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SOURCE Bayer Corporation
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