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You are here: Home eNewsletter Archives 2009 February 2009 SAEON promotes careers in observation science at Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts

SAEON promotes careers in observation science at Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts


SAEON's Hadley Lyners (centre) deals with enquiries from young adults interested in becoming scientists (Picture © SAEON Fynbos Node)


"Learning by doing" - these youngsters are completely engrossed in the interactive game based on the popular "snakes and ladders" which was developed by SAEON and SANBI (Picture © SAEON Fynbos Node)


Each of the Kirstenbosch concerts attracted over 5 000 concert-goers (Picture © SAEON Fynbos Node)

- Hadley Lyners, Education Outreach Officer, SAEON Fynbos Node

On the first two Sundays of 2009, SAEON's Fynbos Education Outreach, together with SANBI's Applied Biodiversity Research Directorate, exhibited at the Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts where the popular groups Plush and Watershed performed.

The exhibition theme was "I love biodiversity, I love life".

"Learn by doing"

Fahiema Daniels of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and Hadley Lyners of SAEON worked together to develop an interactive game based on the popular "snakes and ladders", where participants had an opportunity to discover more about the endangered Western Leopard Toad (Amietophrynus pantherinus), which is endemic to the Western Cape. Awareness was created around conservation efforts as well as practical methods of how the general public can help to save the toad in and around their homes.

The game was particularly popular with children in the 6-13-year age group. Upon completion of the game, participants received copies of Tony Rebelo's Proteas of the Cape Peninsula and Inge and Ted Oliver's Ericas of the Cape Peninsula. These informative pocket guides were eagerly received by members of the public.

The SAEON stand encouraging people to become scientists excited many career-related questions from young adults. It was very positive and heart-warming to find a young councillor from Rhodes High who wanted to know how he and his team of 300 supporters could get involved in conservation efforts. Fahiema Daniels suggested that he contact CREW (the Custodians for Rare and Endangered Wildflowers) who conducts regular monitoring activities of rare flora with volunteers.

Exhibiting at the concerts provided a marvellous opportunity to reach over 5 000 concert goers at each event. The interactive displays and activities encouraged engagement with SAEON and SANBI and let people "learn by doing".

SANBI is the official host of the SAEON Fynbos Node.

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