A bridge for education
Built in 1850, the U Bein Bridge still provides an important connection for the local population.
Day after day the U Bein Bridge is a scene of bustling activity: merchants taking their cargo to the far shore, monks in orange colored robes wandering to pagodas, souvenir peddlers hawking their wares, kids on the way home after school. The bridge is located just a few minutes’ drive outside of Mandalay, the second-largest city in Myanmar. And it’s more than a tourist attraction – for local people it’s an important link connecting Mandalay with the old royal capital Amarapura, and an important source of income.
The bridge is named after the man who built it: U Bein, mayor of Amarapura. His son attended the monastery school across the lake. The school instruction by the monks was free of charge, and for the children of Amarapura it was the way to a better future – U Bein was convinced of that. But the route around the lake – 20 kilometers – was too long for the children. So U Bein decided to build a bridge. And in 1850 the world’s longest teak bridge was built, using wood from the former royal palace in Ava.
A challenge of our time: science education
Around the world, Bayer is committed to improving education and fostering children’s interest in the natural sciences. One example of this is the international program Making Science Make Sense.
What is “Making Science Make Sense”?
Making Science Make Sense is Bayer’s company-wide initiative that advances science literacy through hands-on, inquiry-based science learning, employee volunteerism and public education. The goal? Getting a million children interested in science by 2020.
This has been sparking enthusiasm among kids for more than 20 years – for instance in Vietnam with the book What’s Up With The Earth?. Its protagonists – Na, Ti and Teo – take the children on an exciting journey, while also imparting knowledge related to climate change. The book is the result of a successful collaboration between Bayer Vietnam and Live and Learn, a learning network of local organizations in Southeast Asia. And there has already been a sequel: “The book was so successful that the adventure with the three characters is continuing,” said Giang Pham Thi Ha, a colleague in communications at Bayer Vietnam.