Hands-on zoology for young Manenberg scholars

26 July 2010

Yusrie Joseph and his classmate Aslam HendricksStars in the making: Leadership College learner Yusrie Joseph tries to remove a tapeworm from a snoek, while his classmate Aslam Hendricks watches.

The Department of Zoology took its drive to keep high school learners interested in mathematics and science up a notch when it hosted an Open Day on 14 July.

Scores of Grade-8 learners from the Leadership College, a Manenberg-based maths and science school for top achievers, were given lessons on diverse topics, from insects and sharks to Marion Island, home to a renowned meteorological and biological research station. Learners then put those lessons into practice when they helped top dissect sharks and moles, removing parasites from snoek and birds.

Event organiser, Andrea Plos, said the goal was to show learners that keeping maths and science as fundamental subjects can lead to fascinating careers in science and, specifically, the biological sciences.

"It is imperative to address the learners at Grade 8 level, showing them the wealth of opportunity both maths and science opens," Plos explains. "Once learners decide to drop maths or science, so many opportunities and doors slam shut. If we can catch their curiosity before they make a decision like that, we have won."

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