SANBI engenders enthusiasm for biodiversity careers at Marine Primary School

12 November 2014

A ‘zoologists’ shares some insights with the Marine Primary School Grade 6 and 7 classes.

The Kirstenbosch NBG Biodiversity Education Programme based at the Garden's Goldfields Environmental Education Centre hosted a biodiversity career event at Marine Primary School on 6 November 2014.

In June 2014, Marine Primary teachers gladly accepted the challenge of having their Grade 6 learners present plays about various environmental and biodiversity careers. Our team gave the educators appropriate information packages to complement their careers. Sixty-two Grade 6 learners spent several weeks working hard researching what the specific careers they had picked were all about, writing scripts and practicing their plays.

Rehearsal day arrived and our Goldfields team was all geared up to help the learners along. At first many of the learners were shy, but, when they took to the stage it showed that they had definitely spent a lot of time practising their lines. Our team helped them perfect their work even further, giving advice on suitable dress and props. Ready for the actual event, we left the school in anticipation of what we would see on event day.

Memorable moments

On arrival at the Recreational Centre in Ocean View on 6 November, educators and learners were setting up the stage. Our team appreciated their effort and readily assisted with the preparation. The stage was beautifully decorated with hessian bags and ice-blue cloth to represent the ocean and shoreline so close to Ocean View. The addition of sea and land creatures completed the scene. Their hard work was further enhanced with hand-made posters and stage props. 

A picture-perfect stage decorated by the learners and educators of Marine Primary School.

In groups, the learners acted out their plays, showing careers as varied as marine biology, botany, archaeology, zoology, geology, eco-tourism, climatology, meteorology, palaeontology, microbiology and horticulture. For many learners this was a memorable moment as they stood on a stage and spoke their lines in front of teachers, SANBI staff and about 300 Grade 6 and 7 learners.

The event was beautifully executed, with learners, in the last performance, singing “Tonight we are young, so let’s set the world on fire because we can burn brighter than the sun.” This was particularly poignant as many of these learners come from socially disadvantaged backgrounds where many of their parents and siblings struggle to find work.

A marine biologist in action, in front of a group of eco-tourists at Marine Primary School.

Dedication and enthusiasm

There were many attributes that made the event a success, but it was especially the schools’ dedication and enthusiasm that stood out. A tear or two was definitely shed by members of our team, watching the learners perform.  The “Care for your tomorrow today” theme was a great success. Marine Primary School delivered fine work thanks to principal; Mr Lawrence, Mrs Galant (co-ordinator), Mrs Mazwi (Grade 6 HOD), Mrs Truter and the other Grade 6 educators. In his closing words, Mr Lawrence thanked SANBI for involving his school in this event, which had opened the eyes of the learners to alternative environmental and biodiversity careers and the subjects they need to study in order to enter those careers.

The Goldfields team presented the school with books, posters and booklets to use in the classrooms and library and 20 indigenous plants for their garden. 

The vibrant Grade 6 Career Day participants of Marine Primary School and their educators.

For more information contact:

Basheerah JassiemSally Hey

Goldfields Centre

Kirstenbosch NBG

or see SANBI's Biodiversity Education Overview page.

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Submitted by C Jacobs at 25/11/2014 - 21:39
Thanks to the Sanbi team and Marine Primary educators for excellent work done with the learners. My daughter, Nikita Galant couldn't stop talking about the play, teamwork and preparation and research that went into it all. A job well done.
Submitted by agcobile mkwakwi;masontaha mkhwanazi and lukhona mapumulo at 20/11/2014 - 17:25
dear sally thank you very much about everything you have done for us and we thank you for choosing our school and your support we as the microbiology we took part in this act if you would please do us a favour by putting all the picture we love you as the marine primary school hope you enjoyed every single play we done
Submitted by Anonymous at 15/11/2014 - 14:17
We(Lindsay Jacobs and Tercia Dicks) took part in this wonderful programme and really enjoyed being and taking part in this marvelous event and we would like to thank all of the people at Sanbi but special thanx to Sally Hey for inspiring the learners at Marine Primary and also for opening our learners minds to new careers! thanks to all
Submitted by Pat Gelant at 14/11/2014 - 21:33
Thanks to Sally and her team for guiding us every step of the way. Nothing makes an educator prouder than to see the deep reservoir of talent being tapped into and developed into the creativity we experienced on that day. Thank you for your emails, motivation and dedication to us. May God bless your future endevours and keep up the good work.

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