Career expo at Pretoria NBG expands learners' options

22 October 2014

National Zoological Garden's staff members James and Lufuno give a presentation during the Pretoria NBG Education Centre's October 2014 Career Expo

The Environmental Education Centre at the Pretoria National Botanical Garden hosted a Career Expo on 7 October 2014 with the aim of exposing learners to biodiversity, environmental and science careers. One hundred and twenty Grade 10 and 11 learners from Tebogwana and Daspoort high schools were invited. The learners got an opportunity to interact with more than 11 professionals in the sector, who engaged them using presentations and hands-on activities related to their daily lives. The learners were also given information about the fields of study and necessary requirements for these careers.

Present were representatives from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Bioscience, Ditsong Natural History Museum, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), International Energy Agency (IEA), National Zoo, South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD). These partner organisations helped students better understand careers ranging from nature conservation, entomology, carbon storage and genetics. While interacting with DEA’s Floid Chauke whose work focuses on the genetics of species, learners were fascinated to learn that there are people who work in Antarctica, doing research.

Lufuno Konanani, Horticulturist at the Pretoria National Botanical Gardendemonstrates horticultural activities - Pretoria NBG Career Expo 2014

Future leaders in biodiversity research

SANBI was represented by a number of staff members including two Groen Sebenza pioneers who work within the Biodiversity Information and Policy Planning and Zoological Systematics divisions. Horticultural activities were conducted and there was a presentation on environmental sustainability given by SANBI’s Millennium Seed Bank. The Mary Gunn Library also put on a display of SANBI publications to pique the learners’ interest.

It was evident that before attending the expo most of the learners had not been aware of the environmental careers that are available to choose from and they seemed very keen to find out more. Now they have 11 more possible career paths to pursue and hopefully we will be seeing many of them in this sector, possibly within SANBI, being leaders in biodiversity research. This sentiment was emphasised by Donavan Fullard, Programme Manager of Groen Sebenza, who concluded the day by giving the learners advice about how to proceed towards a career in this sector now that they have been provided with some valuable information.

Dr. Mlambo, Entomologist from Ditsong Museum of Natural History - Pretoria NBG Career Expo 2014

For more information please contact:

Tebogo Mathaba

Tel: +27 (0)12 843 5085/5186/5000

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