Personal tools
You are here: Home eNewsletter Archives 2015 october2015 Scientists of the future showcase their work
Research Infrastructures

EFTEON website

SAPRI Proposal

SMCRI website

Research Publications


OUTPUTS 2006-2017

Log in

Forgot your password?

NRF logo



Scientists of the future showcase their work

By Omphile Khutsoane, Education Officer, Arid Lands Node
mail.jpg facebook.jpg

Reitumetse Mocuminyanya shares her SAEON learning experience (Picture: Joh Henschel)


Deolinda Selaledi tells delegates about the importance of water monitoring (Picture: Joh Henschel)


DST/NRF Intern Zanele Chonga inspires the budding scientists (Picture: Joh Henschel)


Gordon Africa, Managing Director of Stabilis Development, closes the event with a vote of thanks (Picture: Omphile Khutsoane)


SAEON's 11th Science Education Symposium was hosted by the Arid Lands Node in the Northern Cape in September 2015.

The atmosphere crackled with anticipation as over 70 participants representing schools and government departments from all over South Africa convened in Kimberley.

The exciting programme ensured that experts, teachers, learners and researchers in the field of environmental science all joined forces to meet the symposium objectives.

The event provides a platform for promoting environmental science education and encouraging young science learners from schools in the vicinity of the SAEON nodes to showcase the skills they acquired while participating in the SAEON education programme under the supervision of a range of mentors and supervisors.

Science education

Science education has become crucial in this era in which science is becoming more widely recognised as an accessible profession for learners.

SAEON has tackled this challenge by initiating a science education outreach programme which exposes learners from schools in the vicinity of its nodes to careers in environmental science. The symposium provides an opportunity for these learners to share their experiences and newly found knowledge.

The day's programme commenced with a warm welcome from the manager of the Arid Lands Node, Dr Joh Henschel and an overview of SAEON and its nodes by science education outreach coordinator, Sibongile Mokoena. This was followed by a series of talks by the invited science experts and delegates before it was time for the learners to showcase their work.

Among the presenters were learners from as far afield as Phalaborwa (Vutivi Baloyi, Grade 11), Grahamstown (Keenan Amos, Grade 10) and Cape Town (Zukanye Tida, Grade 10).

These learners, together with five learners from Kimberley, shed light on their research projects as well as their learning experiences. The Kimberley team consisted of two Grade 10 learners from Thabane High School and three Grade 9 learners from Emang Mmogo Comprehensive School.

Learners doing it for themselves

Keenan Amos told the audience more about rocky shores and the creatures that inhabit these shores. Zukanye Tida's presentation was titled Low/cold temperature effects on performance and Vutivi Baloyi from Phalaborwa described his science camp experiences in a presentation titled From learner to scientist.

Learners representing the host node were Tshiamo Phutane, who informed the audience about the structure of Acacia tortilis on natural veld and old ploughed fields in Mokala National Park and Deolinda Selaledi with her presentation titled Using the miniSASS technique to monitor the health of the Riet River in Mokala National Park.

DST/NRF interns Amos Nchabeleng and Zanele Chonga told the audience more about their training programme at SAEON as well as their achievements within their chosen field of study. Their aim was to inspire and encourage the learners to further their studies when they graduate from high school.

The programme was concluded with a 'questions and comments' session in which learners were singled out for their outstanding presentations, demonstrating that hard work does pay off.

Vote of thanks

SAEON's Education Outreach team would like to thank everyone who made this event a success - the guests who attended, the learners for their superb work, the presenters who gave outstanding speeches, as well as representatives of the Northern Cape Department of Education for setting aside time to support and encourage the learners.

A special note of appreciation goes to Dr Joh Henschel and the other staff members of the SAEON Arid Lands Node for their support.


Muriel Kwenampe of the Northern Cape Department of Education (far left), Dr Ken Ngcoza of Rhodes University (with jacket and tie), Omphile Khutsoane, Education Officer of the Arid Lands Node (centre) and Vinolia Setlogelo, educator at Thabane High School (far right) with a group of excited learners (Picture: Tshililo Ramaswiela)


Document Actions