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Biodiversity training from a learner’s perspective Print

After her first encounter with an Iimbovane workshop at Scifest 2016, Ayla van der Merwe, one of the learners from St Patricks Christian Brothers' College (Kimberly) came to visit the Iimbovane Outreach Project for two weeks as a volunteer to experience life as a scientist

During her visit she was part of the Big on Biodiversity holiday programme presented by the Iibovane project team.

At the end of her stay with Iimbovane Ayla gave a summary of her experience:

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Iimbovane in brief Print

The Iimbovane Project is a long term monitoring project which focuses on ant diversity in different natural and modified (developed or transformed) landscapes, investigating how ant groupings change in space (between places) and over time (between seasons and years). The project involves educators and learners from secondary schools who assist with the monitoring through direct participation in on site sampling.  

Iimbovane aims to educate and raise awareness levels of educators and learners on the importance of biodiversity and to increase and improve scientific biodiversity, eventually providing a general picture of ant species composition in different Western Cape biomes over a 10 year period. 

The key objectives of Iimbovane are to:                                                                                                                                  
  • Educate learners on how science works through active participation in “real” research
  • Develop learners scientific and critical thinking skills
  • Educate learners on biodiversity conservation and wider environmental issues 
  • Promote careers in biodiversity science
  • Assist life science educators to implement biodiversity science in an outcomes-based fashion
  • Provide training and support to life science educators 
 
So, how do I become an “Ant-ologist”? Iimbovane inspires future scientists Print

From the eleventh to the fourteenth of March this year, the Iimbovane team could be found at the Albany Museum, in Grahamstown. Here they facilitated their “Awed by Ants” workshop, chosen as one of close to 80 workshops to present at this year’s SciFest Africa – South Africa’s largest national science festival.

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Iimbovane impresses Touwsrivier Primary’s aspiring scientists! Print

On Friday the 17th February 2017, eleven intrepid pupils from Touwsrivier Primary School’s Science and Maths Club joined Iimbovane for a short workshop, at Stellenbosch University.  The pupils ranged in age from twelve to fourteen.

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Exciting news in the “Ant World”! Print

In a few short days, a new ant book will be available on the shelves! In his book, titled “Ants of Southern Africa”, Peter Slingsby took years of one of his pet passions in life to the next level, and complied this insightful book.  It will be the first ever published field guide of Southern African ants.

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Iimbovane team sparks interest in biodiversity science at careers expo Print

The Iimbovane Outreach Project was amongst a flock of exhibitors that were hosted at the SANBI Harold Porter Botanical Garden and the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) on the 11th August 2016 for the annual Biodiversity Careers Expo 2016.

This annual event aims at showcasing careers in biodiversity and environmental sciences for Grade 10 Life Science learners from schools in the Overberg District. The garden and venue were vibrant with nearly 260 learners who took part in the event.

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Learners experience ‘biodiversity in action’ with Iimbovane Print
The Western Cape has a lot to boast about when it comes to biodiversity, and who better than the youth who will be protecting it one day! In support of this, the Iimbovane Outreach Project hosted a “Big on Biodiversity” workshop at Stellenbosch University between the 27th June and 1st July 2016. The aim of the workshop was to engage Grade 10, Life Science learners in biodiversity science and to make it practical with hands-on investigations.

The workshop was attended by 32 learners from 13 schools across the Western Cape.

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C·I·B and Iimbovane Take a Girl Child to Work Print

On the 26th May 2016 the DST-NRF Centre for Invasion Biology (C·I·B) and the Iimbovane Outreach Project participated in the Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work initiative.

This initiative aims at providing young girls with information to equip them for making better, informed choices about the career choices. This year marks the 14th year since the inception of this initiative. The C·I·B and Iimbovane are regular participants in this annual event that supports the need to expose girls to the reality of the work environment.

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SANPark junior rangers get “ant-wise” with Iimbovane Print

Ants play important roles in ecosystems, yet they often go unnoticed by visitors to the park and field rangers. To raise awareness of the importance and diversity of these tiny insects, the Iimbovane Outreach Project presented a training session for SANParks junior rangers in the Karoo National Park.

The session, titled “Amazing Ants of Karoo National Park”, gave the junior rangers an overview of the significant role that ants play in ecosystems and how scientists identify different species. The session also introduced the junior rangers to sampling methods, and through trying each method the rangers came to see the advantages and limitations of each method.

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Iimbovane treats visitors with award-winning workshop at Scifest Africa 2016 Print

Did you know that ants have hair on their bodies? Or that some species build underground cities which go as deep as 8 meters deep? These were among the fascinating facts that were part of hands-on workshop entitled “Antastic!” held at Scifest Africa 2016 by team members of the Iimbovane Outreach Project.

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Iimbovane welcomes new team member Print

The Iimbovane Outreach Project has added a new member to their growing team. The newest member of the team, Londiwe Msomi, will take the role of Education Outreach Officer. 

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Getting the message across: The Iimbovane Outreach Project Print

The Iimbovane team tells Quest readers how ants are being used to teach learners about biodiversity...

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Iimbovane participant catches the eye of the press Print
Leonne Adams, a  Stellenbosch University student, who has joined Iimbovane on various occasions (see article: Former Iimbovane participant to study B.Sc at Stellenbosch University), shines again.
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All things bright and beautiful - Iimbovane showcases careers in biodiversity science Print

Both marine and terrestrial, science and conservation, fauna and flora, the whole spectrum of nature’s beauty was displayed at the annual Biodiversity Careers Expo held on the 6th August 2015 at Harold Porter National Botanical Garden, Betties bay. Here, Iimbovane’s display of microscopes and insects certainly attracted the attention of many.

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Tiny Threats - Alien ants in our Fynbos Print
aliens in fynbos
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Experiencing life in a laboratory with Iimbovane Print

While most other Maties students were off on their summer holidays, two hardworking BSc undergrads decided to stick around campus to do holiday work with Iimbovane Outreach Project.

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Iimbovane gives career guidance to Overberg learners Print

The Western Cape Education Department’s (WCED) Careers Expo is always a highlight on the Iimbovane Project’s calendar.  2014 was no exception and Iimbovane was there in full force – visible, active and interacting with learners from the Overberg education district.

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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.
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Iimbovane trains young biodiversity enthusiasts Print

The Iimbovane Outreach Project recently hosted another Big on Biodiversity workshop, aimed at Grade 10 learners. On Wednesday 2 July 2014, the Iimbovane team welcomed 15 nervous learners from various schools in Cape Town area.

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Grade 10 Life Science learners are scientists for a week Print

Twenty Grade 10 Life Science learners from no less than six different schools across the Western Cape region participated in the Iimbovane Outreach Project’s 4th annual winter week held at Stellenbosch University from the 9-12 July 2013.

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Former Iimbovane participants continue with science at SU Print

One of the aims of Iimbovane is to encourage learners, especially female learners, to consider biological sciences as a field of study and ultimately as a career. Throughout their participation in the Iimbovane Outreach Project, the learners interact with scientists during regular schools visits and learnerworkshops.

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A is for Ants…Home-scholars get ant-smart the Iimbovane way Print

In April 2013 the Iimbovane Outreach Project hosted, in collaboration with the Table Mountain National Park’s Environmental Education Programme, two workshops for a group of home-schooled learners.

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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.

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Sugar Ant schools receive teaching equipment from Iimbovane Print

The empowerment of life science educators and their learners through the donation of teaching equipment is a central part of what the Iimbovane Outreach Project does.

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Former Iimbovane participant to study B.Sc at Stellenbosch University Print

One of Iimbovane’s aims is to inspire learners, especially girl learners, to consider tertiary studies and careers in the field of life sciences.

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Iimbovane learners take award at International Science Fair Print

Two Iimbovane learners recently walked away with a special award at the 2012 International Science Fair with their project on ants. The learners were awarded by the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) for the Best Project in the Environmental Studies Category (Senior).

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Iimbovane schools ace data analyses exercises Print

This year 2012 has been infused with more visual experiences than ever before for Iimbovane learners. First it was data collection in March whereby learners not only collected ant data from their school grounds but many also went along with the project team to nature reserves and national parks. For most learners, it was a new experience to be in such close proximity to untamed nature.

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