Vusisizwe learners are Big on Biodiversity Print
While most Grade 10 learners were on holiday, a group of 15 learners from the Vusisizwe Secondary School, in Worcester, started the school holiday by attending a workshop to learn more about South African biodiversity.

The workshop, titled "Big on Biodiversity", was hosted by the Iimbovane Outreach Project and took place from 30th of June to the 1st of July.

Since 2006, the Vusisizwe Secondary School has been partnering with the Iimbovane project team to teach Grade 10 learners about biodiversity science, the scientific method, field monitoring and biodiversity conservation.

Together with members from the Iimbovane project team, the learners learnt about the scientific methods that scientists use to collect environmental information. This was followed by the learners taking their turn to explore the diversity of different ecosystems.  

Learners were introduced to the rich diversity of the Fynbos biome during a visit to the Helderberg Nature Reserve, where they were shown how to make their own reference books that will help them with plant identification in the future.

One of the workshop sessions also dealt with soil diversity and learners were given the opportunity to use high quality microscopes to identify small species.

It was a great experience to work with my group to find insects with different sampling methods and then looking at them through a microscope and to see that they have hair on their bodies.” says Zandile Jantjies, a Grade 10 Life Science learner from Vusisizwe Secondary School. 
The workshops also gave the learners a glimpse at “life as a student” on a university campus. Learners were taken on a campus tour and shown the different faculties and the courses each faculty offers, as well as a visit to the underground library.

The Vusisizwe learners left for home having a greater understanding of the importance of biodiversity and how we unconsciously rely on it in our daily lives. “I’ve learnt that ants are very important to us even if they’re small and that we must value biodiversity.” says Amoré Stryers. 

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