What is the Young Biologist course?
It's that time of the year again, and courtesy of the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation's education team, the 20th Young Biologist course has successfully come and gone! This course is aimed at Grade 10 students who are passionate about the marine environment and committed to positive action. In addition to being able to volunteer at the Aquarium, this course also aims to further educate learners about leadership, interaction, exposure to various ecosystems, and environmental conservation. A huge thank you goes out to De Beers Marine who made this course possible by sponsoring all the students who were part of it.
To monitor progress, students were required to complete daily assessments of the work taught on the previous day. The course theory introduced the students to a wide range of topics in marine biology, but mainly focused on aspects specific to the Touch Pool and Microscope Exhibits here at the Aquarium. These are the main areas in which their Aquarium work will be done. Students also got a tour of the Aquarium to become acquainted with the space and the marine life that calls it home.
One particularly enjoyable lesson was when they pulled apart fresh kelp hold-fasts and collected the various animals hiding in them. This was hands-on learning at its best, and already, students could identify some of the animals that had been dealt with in the course.
Before making their way to the famous Young Biologist eco-camp, the students stopped at Dalebrook Rockpools to do a rocky shore exploration. This gave students a good opportunity to learn and explore ecosystems and marine life in their natural environment. Students also got the opportunity to present their findings to the rest of the group and share knowledge and understanding in this manner.
Young Biologist Camp!
As usual, the Young Biologist camp did not disappoint and was a hit among all the students. The first camp activity was a microplastic practical, whereby students had to collect data and prepare a presentation on their findings. In addition to this, another highlight of the first day was an amazing night hike, which allowed students to experience the beauty of nature under the stars.
Day two of the eventful three-day camp was an action-filled one. After breakfast, students enjoyed an exciting debate and a cool logo design session to celebrate 20 years of the Young Biologist course.
After an interactive presentation from the NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute) about water safety, the group embarked on a snorkelling activity in the tidal pool. This activity was led by a qualified dive master and the Aquarium Foundation's educators, who are seasoned divers.
Besides these fun-filled activities, there were so many other interactive and exciting opportunities for the students to learn about or improve their communication skills, their ability to understand teams and hierarchical systems, or simply make friends. Some more of the camp's fun activities included a team-building challenge, a potjie competition, a quiz night, and a camp concert.
As they have been for the past 20 years, the Two Oceans Aquarium education team successfully ran another Young Biologist course and has yet again contributed to the growth and development of a group of young kids within the marine space.
"We hope these learners will continue promoting the love and care of our environment through Education. We are most grateful for the generous sponsorship by De Beers, which enables us to attract such passionate young people and offer this valuable experience to them," says Chanelle Thomas, Course Coordinator.
If you have any queries regarding the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation's education courses, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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