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Celebrating the vital role played by our oceans

By Sivuyisiwe Mbede, Tania Duba and Nasreen Burgher, SAEON Egagasini Node
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The science engagement team of SAEON’s Egagasini Node participated in the celebrations surrounding World Oceans Day and Adopt-an-Argo-Float Day to raise awareness of the importance and use of the ocean’s robotic instruments, the Argo floats.

The team also aimed to encourage and inspire learners to follow science as a career path, especially in the marine sciences.

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SAEON’s Thomas Mtontsi tells the learners at Wynberg Boys' High School more about Argo floats, how they function and the type of data they produce 

Sivuyisiwe Mbede, a Work Integrated Learning student from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, gives a presentation on the background of Argo floats at SAEON’s Adopt-an-Argo-Float Day

World Oceans Day

SAEON’s Thomas Mtontsi, Sivuyisiwe Mbede, Tania Duba and Nasreen Burgher visited Wynberg Boys’ High School to raise awareness about the robotic instruments deployed in the ocean for data collection. Their presentation about the Argo float, how it functions, the type of data it produces, and its usefulness was well received by the learners.

The youngsters were particularly interested in the cost and manufacturing of ocean robots. As a result, the team left the school fairly confident that they’ve inspired an upcoming generation of ocean robot manufacturers.

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SAEON intern Nasreen Burgher discusses the deployment of Argo floats on a trip to and from Marion Island 

SAEON student Rudzani Silima explains the downloading of data from the Argo floats and the application of the data

Adopt an Argo Float Day

The motivation behind the SAEON Egagasini Node’s annual Adopt-an-Argo-Float Day is to raise awareness of the ocean’s robots and to inspire the youth of today to consider a career in science. This year’s event was held on 13 June at two coastal schools – Masiphumelele High and Sophumelela Secondary.

The day’s programme consisted of presentations by Rudzani Silima, Nasreen Burgher and Sivuyisiwe Mbede, with Thomas Mtontsi leading the programme. The presentations gave a background to the Argo floats and demonstrated the methods of deployment, as well as real-time footage of the Argo cycles.

The learners participated in exercises working with Argo float data such as how to find, download and extract the data to create comprehensive graphs and tables. The presentations on the importance of Argo floats were well received by the high school learners.

The Egagasini Node would like to thank the schools involved for encouraging their learners to be part of the programme, as well as Thomas and his team for making sure these events were so successful.

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The theme for this year's World Oceans Day was Gender and the ocean

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