Iimbovane workshop a hit with Hermanus learners Print

The Iimbovane project team recently held a workshop for the Grade 10 learners of Hermanus High School in Hermanus.

The purpose of the workshop was to give the learners practical experience using the scientific method, with a special focus on biodiversity science. After a short lesson on the scientific method, experimental designs and sampling techniques, the learners were ready to do research. For their hypotheses, the learners looked at how the diversity of ants varies between different habitats. Ants were collected using pitfalls. The next step for the learners was to inspect and identify the ants they collected.

hhs workshopThe workshop ended with a data analysis session where the learners were taught how to use mathematics to calculate the ant diversity in the monitoring sites. Learners were introduced to diversity indices such as Shannon-Weaver and Simpson Similarity index. In the feedback session each group had to present their results and explain how it relates to their hypotheses.

The workshop which formed part of a three-day science camp was attended by 70 learners. According to the participants, the highlight of the workshop was without a doubt seeing the tiniest detail on ants’ bodies through the microscopes.

Hermanus High School joined the Iimbovane Project as a “Sugar Ant School” in 2012. On joining the project, subscription schools receive an Iimbovane Starter Pack which contains the necessary field and laboratory equipment to collect and identify ants.