Coast KZN

21 Jun 2019

Ocean awareness taken to rural schools

Tamlyn Jolly (Zululand Observer) Picture: Learners at Mzila Primary School in Sodwana Bay eagerly learned about matter and materials within the marine environment, as well as ocean acidification PHOTO: SAAMBR

TO bring a little of the outside world into the classroom, and to help teach rural learners through visual stimulation, the South African Association of Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR) has, for over 10 years, undertaken annual visits to Sodwana Bay schools.

Each year 10 schools are visited and this year Mzila Primary was one of the beneficiaries of the educational visit.

All lessons given are designed for the natural science CAPS content and linked to the national curriculum.

This year’s focus was on matter and material and the lessons: Oceans in a Changing Climate, included chemistry in relation to ocean acidification.

These lessons were presented to Mzila’s Grade 6 and 7 learners, who also learned about various careers in the marine environment.

The highlight of the day was a demonstration by uShaka Sea World diver, Mandla Mhlongo, who showed how divers are able to breathe underwater using compressed air.

Sitting in on the lessons was Grade 7 teacher, Vusumuzi Mbuyazi, who heads the school’s environmental club.

‘Today’s lesson taught me about the properties of various materials, and the consequences of acidification and poor waste management,’ he said.

‘I am very happy our learners were given the opportunity to learn through these visual aids.’

When asked what the most important lesson learned during the morning was, Grade 6 learner Khololwethu Ntembe said, ‘It is wrong to litter, it is important to look after our environment and not litter because animals die.’

She was eager to learn about plastic and asked who invented it, why it was invented and she wanted to know more about how plastic can be recycled.