For Immediate Release

STEM Toys Get Left on the Shelf When Shopping for Holiday Toy Drives, New Survey Finds

Bayer and HearthSong Launch STEM Toy Drive to Benefit Children in Need

WHIPPANY, N.J., Nov. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 90 percent of Americans believe that toys promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) provide great educational value, yet only 29 percent say they will donate a STEM toy this holiday season, according to results of the 2017 Bayer STEM Toys Holiday Survey released today.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. (PRNewsfoto/Bayer Corporation)

To close this gap and ensure that science is accessible to all children, Bayer is partnering with HearthSong, a leading online toy retailer, to launch a STEM toy drive throughout the United States.  Now through December 11, 2017, when consumers purchase a STEM toy at HearthSong.com, Bayer will donate the full merchandise value of that toy to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, up to $250,000.  Toys for Tots will use the dollars to purchase STEM toys from HearthSong at a discount for girls and boys of all ages.

"Science and innovation are at the heart of who we are," said Sarah Toulouse, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Executive Director, Bayer USA Foundation.  "We understand the integral role science plays in everyday life, and we are committed to advancing science literacy and promoting STEM education nationwide.  This partnership is one expression of that commitment, and we are proud to provide access to the wonder and curiosity that STEM toys inspire."

Beverly Fries, Vice President of Merchandising at HearthSong, said her organization believes that every child should have the chance to discover the world through play.

"We are delighted to partner with Bayer to provide fun-filled STEM toys this holiday to children who otherwise may not reap the recognized benefits of exposure to STEM activities," Fries said.  "HearthSong's toys are designed to nurture curiosity and develop creativity, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills."

Additional findings from the 2017 Bayer STEM Toys Holiday Survey indicate that cost and gender influence purchase decisions when it comes to STEM toys: 

  • Nearly one-in-three Americans (30 percent) cite cost as a barrier to purchasing STEM gifts for a seasonal toy drive.
  • While nine-in-10 (90 percent) Americans believe STEM toys are packaged in such a way that they look appropriate for both boys and girls, consumers are nearly 20 percent more likely to buy STEM toys for boys than girls this holiday season (34 percent vs. 29 percent).
  • Women are nearly 25 percent more likely to buy STEM toys for boys than girls (37 percent for boys vs. 30 percent for girls).

"Children are naturally curious about science and the world around them," said Dr. Mae C. Jemison, astronaut, medical doctor, chemical engineer and Bayer's longtime Making Science Make Sense® Ambassador.  "The earlier children are introduced to foundational STEM skills, the more successful they are in all areas of learning. Exposing boys and girls of all backgrounds to STEM through play is a great way to open up a whole new world of possibilities."

"We are very pleased to welcome Bayer as a national corporate sponsor of the 2017 Marine Toys for Tots Campaign," said retired Marine Colonel Ted Silvester, Vice President of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.  "Their community service goals certainly align with those the Marine Corps has promoted for nearly 70 years through our Toys for Tots Program."  Silvester concluded, "With their generous support we will be able to fulfill the Christmas holiday dreams of thousands of less fortunate children, who otherwise might be forgotten."

To participate in the Bayer/HearthSong 2017 holiday campaign benefitting Toys for Tots, consumers can visit Hearthsong.com.

The 2017 Bayer STEM Toys Holiday Survey is part of the Bayer Facts of Science Education survey series and presents the findings of an online survey conducted October 25-26, 2017, by Toluna. The survey was conducted among a demographically representative sample of 1,063 American adults ages 18 and older. The margin of error for a sample of this size is ±3% at the 95% level of confidence.

About Bayer U.S.
Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2016, the Group employed around 115,200 people and had sales of EUR 46.8 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.7 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.us.

About Making Science Make Sense®
Making Science Make Sense® is Bayer's national, presidential award-winning STEM education initiative. This company-wide program seeks to advance science literacy across the United States through hands-on, inquiry-based learning, employee volunteerism, community partnerships and public education.

About HearthSong
Since its beginning in 1983, HearthSong has been helping parents provide their children with age-appropriate, wholesome, quality playthings. Based in Madison, Va., the company, an affiliate of Plow & Hearth LLC, is a nationally known and respected source for quality children's toys, games and crafts. With the motto of "toys you'll feel good about giving®," HearthSong guarantees that each item they carry has been carefully selected for quality, safety and appropriateness to a child's development. For more information, visit HearthSong on the Web at www.hearthsong.com.

About Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots, a 70-year national charitable program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, provides happiness and hope to disadvantaged children during each Christmas holiday season.  The toys, books and other gifts collected and distributed by the Marines offer these children recognition, confidence and a positive memory for a lifetime.  It is such experiences that help children become responsible citizens and caring members of their community.  Last year the Marine Toys for Tots Program fulfilled the holiday hopes and dreams of 7 million less fortunate children in 792 communities nationwide.  Since 1947 over 244 million children have been assisted. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not for profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of Defense to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org

Contact:
Carolyn Bender
Tel.: (201) 419-0337
Email:  carolyn.bender@bayer.com

Kelly Faville
Tel.: (978) 621-6667
Email: kfaville@coneinc.com

Forward-Looking Statements 
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

SOURCE Bayer