Basic microscopy training for Iimbovane learners Print

The Iimbovane Outreach Project held a training session for learners from one of their partnerships schools, to help these learners develop microscopy skills.

Proper microscope use is one of the most important skills life science learners must be familiar with and yet only a few schools offer learners the experience of working on microscopes. Reacting towards requests from life science learners, the project team organised a one-day workshop for the learners from Swartberg Secondary School, in Caledon.

The one day workshop, which took place at the Iimbovane Ant Laboratory on the campus of the Stellenbosch University Campus on 6 December 2011, was attended by 17 learners.

The workshop provided the attending learners with basic information and instructions on how to set up, use and care for microscopes. Topics that were covered included:

  • The components of microscopes and their functions
  • The steps for proper focusing on material and observation with a microscope
  • The know-how to determine the magnification of materials being observed using a microscope
  • Mulalo Irene Muelelwa, Assistant Technical Officer of the Iimbovane Outreach Project, is showing Marlon Sauls, Grade 10 life science learner from Swartberg Secondary School, how to separate beetle species using a stereomicroscope.

Positive feedback on the Iimbovane facebook page confirmed that the leaners had indeed had a very productive time at the Iimbovane one day workshop.

Swartberg Secondary School is one of 28 schools taking part in the Iimbovane Outreach Project. The school joined the project in 2010 and Grade 10 life science learners have been since monitoring the ant diversity in their school ground.

In 2011, Swartberg Secondary School received two stereomicroscopes from the Iimbovane Outreach Project. This was made possible through funding from AfriSam and Rand Merchant Bank Fund.


At the end of the workshop each learner received a certificate.