By: Mthoko Shoba (uShaka Sea World Education) and Ann Kunz (SAAMBR Communications)
For over 10 years SAAMBR’s Outreach team has undertaken an annual visit to schools neighbouring Sodwana Bay to bring a little of our world into their classrooms.
All the lessons that were given in Sodwana are designed for the natural science CAPS content and linked to the national curriculum that. This year we focused on matter and material and gave lessons titled “Oceans in a Changing Climate” which included chemistry in relation to ocean acidification.
One of the 10 schools visited in May 2019 was Mzila primary where we presented an ocean acidification lesson to the grade 6 and 7 learners and explored various marine careers with the high school learners. The highlight was without doubt the demonstration by uShaka Sea World diver, Mandla Mhlongo, who demonstrated how divers are able to breathe underwater using compressed air and the equipment enabling them to move about underwater.
This school has an active environmental club managed by Grade 7 teacher, Vusumuzi Mbuyazi, who not only initiates projects within the school but way beyond the boundary fences and into the community.
He sat in on the lesson we gave to the grade 6 &7s and afterwards expressed his appreciation : “today’s lesson taught me about the properties of various materials and the consequences of acidification and poor waste management. I am very happy that you have given our learners the opportunity to learn through the visual aids that you brought with you”.
Learning through visual stimulation is quite uncommon in a number of rural schools who rely almost solely on textbooks and teachers.
When asked what the most important lesson she had learned during the morning, Grade 6 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 wanted to know more about how plastic can be recycled. We are looking forward to returning to Sodwana Bay in the future.