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.

 Iimbovane’s eight workshops were fully booked, including two overbookings which were readily catered for, after all, the more the merrier! Workshops were hands-on and interactive, making it open to visitors of all ages. This created dynamic classes holding visitors ranging from ten years old to grade 10, and the occasional grown-up! The Iimbovane team passionately opened the attendee’s eyes to the world of ants, teaching them about their importance and ecology, and was happy by the response of the learners, who were all very receptive. “I want to be an ant-ologist when I grow up!” exclaimed one enthusiastic boy. This lead to discussions on myrmecology (the study of ants), how to become a myrmecologist and what their job is. The older learners were taught how to use a microscope and to identify an ant by its morphological traits. The younger learners were also taught how to use a microscope, then instructed to draw a number of conspicuous ants provided to them – thus teaching them about ant diversity and naming ants.

Schools from a far afield as the Northern Cape, local schools, and home scholars attended the workshops, all of which gave positive feedback. The Iimbovane team was commended for being informative, friendly and interesting.

Dit was lekker om hier te wees en ek het iets nuuts geleer en oor miere end it het my baie gewys hoe ‘n mier lyk. Baie dankie vir die leer.” Bradley Loubser, a student.

Awed by Ants was an excellent presentation perfectly pitted at this group of 11-year old boys!” Lisl Griffioe, an educator from St. Andrews Preparatory School.