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Diving into Dreams: A Day at Two Oceans Aquarium

By Ethan Smit
- Blog, ECD, Education, Our team, Research
Diving into Dreams: A Day at Two Oceans Aquarium

Whether you are coastal or inland based, we are all connected to the ocean one way or the other. The Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation (TOAF) team collaborated with the National Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) Ocean-to-Land Inland School Intervention Programme on Thursday, 07 March 2024. This intervention was aimed at exposing learners and teachers from the inland provinces of South Africa to a marine environment and opportunities experience.

Twelve grade 11-12 learners, six educators from the rural areas of the respective four (4) inland provinces, namely Free State, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga and five DFFE staff members joined us for a day brimming with discovery and inspiration. Here's a glimpse into the action-packed day at the Two Oceans Aquarium. Upon arrival the group were introduced to the TOAF by Dr Nathalie Viljoen (Head of Research) followed by an inspirational introduction to the mega biodiversity found in the cold Atlantic Ocean and warm Indian Ocean during a guided tour of the Two Oceans Aquarium by Phindile Gazu (Adult Training Coordinator) and Calley Chateau-Cyster (Research Assistant).

Tinywow Dr Nathalie Group presentation 53155068 Medium

The learners then spent some time in one of our Discovery Centres where our Educators Anzio Abels immersed them into a hands-on rocky shore exploration activity, while learning about a variety of marine careers. The educators and DFFE staff were introduced to Marine Sciences as a CAPS Curriculum subject by Marnus Smith (Head of the Marine Sciences Curriculum). Marine Sciences is offered in various schools around South Africa and can also be taken virtually from grade 10-12.

“The interactive session provided the students with a novel experience, interacting with marine life which they would not normally be able to do. What stood out to me with the student engagements, were the insightful questions they had, relating to things they were exposed to for the first time “ commented Anzio Abels, an Outreach Teacher at Two Oceans Aquarium.

Tinywow Anzio Life in Rock Pools 53154975 Medium
Tinywow Anzio Marine Careers 53155003 Medium

The group had an opportunity to engage with different staff members of the Aquarium, learning about their career journeys and what their roles entail. This was done with the aim of inspiring the scholars.

The programme took them on a thrilling journey into the depths of marine careers and South Africa's vibrant aquatic ecosystems. From graceful sharks to colourful corals, each exhibit served as a poignant reminder of the importance of ocean conservation.

Tinywow Ayesha Cornelius Group 53155032 Medium

“We are way more grateful to the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation Team than you'll ever know. We often say that, an opportunity others think is of insignificant, for others it’s a glorious opportunity and words cannot express our gratitude and appreciation for what you have done for those learners and the educators from the respective rural inland provinces” said Mr Kgothatso Magongwa, Project Coordinator for the Oceans/Blue Economy & Project Management segment within DFFE.

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