SAEP Environmental Education Program sent 33 students to attend and explore “Green Careers” at the biodiversity expo at The Kirstenbosch Estate on 6 March 2014. The students came from their two programs i.e. 18 were from the Bridging Year Program that attends classes at SAEP Offices in Mowbray and 15 came from the Environment Club at Sinethemba High School.
The Environment Coordinator of the SAEP Program made initial contact with Sally Hey , the Principal of SANBI Gold Fields EE Centre (the Expo organizer) last year in November. Since then, they have collaborated in many different environmental education activities that exposed at least 150 children from Philippi’s Early Childhood Creches to the Kirstenbosch Garden where lessons in sensory stimulation on environment were completed. This particular program was attended by groups of 15 students from 13 different schools. We are proud for having been able to send two groups from SAEP’s programs i.e the Bridging Year and the Environment Club of Sinethemba High School.
The program was strictly by invitation only. Six weeks prior to the expo, the SAEP coordinator made sure that the schools registered with the Western Cape Department of Education (WCDE) to attend the expo on 6 March. After that 15 learners from Grades 11, who had shown an interest in and aptitude for future careers in Biodiversity were selected. On the day, the groups remained together throughout the morning and were escorted by Kirstenbosch volunteers to the career stations where they probed and explored the career information displayed for them.
Learners moved around the Kirstenbosch estate, according to a schedule, visiting the scientists, researchers and other Biodiversity Professionals in their places of work. The groups were exposed to a variety of Biodiversity Programmes, such as: The DNA molecular ecology lab, EDRR (emerging invasive programme); Biodiversity Information Management (GIS); Climate Change; SKEP and CAPE Regional Programmes; Land Use and Environmental Management (municipal programmes), Environmental Education; Horticulture; Global Pollination Project; Marine Programmes; Taxonomy; CREW (Threatened Plants Programme). There was also an outside service providers and information on study opportunities that was presented by Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), University of Western Cape (UWC) , University of Cape Town (UCT)and Stellenbosch University.
Students were thrilled by finding out that many of the careers choices they had in mind had a link to the environmental field. To most students, the highlight of the day was when they realized that it was all about passion and finding a niche to fill in just like a specialized organism does in a functioning ecosystem. Geographic Information System (GIS) and Law Enforcement were such careers where someone with interest in computers or police force would take respectively. For some students, careers presented were relevant to them because they enjoy working outdoors.
The SAEP Environmental Education Coordinator would like to thank Sally Hey, The Principal of SANBI Gold Fields EE Centre for inviting SAEP to send students to this informative Expo. We will continue this partnership that helps us achieve our goals as an Environment Program.
Exposure to Green Careers for SAEP Students
SAEP’s Environmental Education Programme sent 33 students to the Kirstenbosch Biodiversity Careers Expo held on the 6th of March 2014 with the aim of enabling students to explore ‘Green Careers’. 15 of these students came from SAEP’s environment club at Sinethemba High School and 18 from SAEP’s Bridging Year Programme.
Students visited various scientists, researchers and other biodiversity professionals based at Kirstenbosch, and interacted with these experts on a number of areas, including: molecular ecology, climate change, horticulture, pollination, threatened plants etc. The Cape Peninsula University of Technology, the University of the Western Cape, the University of Cape Town, and the University of Stellenbosch were also present and presented relevant information on various fields of environmental study.
Students were interested to find that career choices they had in mind could link to work with the environment field. For example, an interest in IT could link to working with GIS (Geographic Information System).
The SAEP Environmental Education Coordinator would like to thank Sally Hey, the principal of SANBI Gold Field EE Centre, for inviting SAEP to send students to this informative Expo.