Learners from local schools exposed to world of physiology
Six Grade 11 learners from three Stellenbosch schools had the opportunity to learn all about their blood groups, lifestyle diseases and various modern research technologies during the second annual “Physiology is Cool” Winter Week.
The participating learners were Simbulele Mncedani and Sinazo Nqeketo of Kayamandi High, Nurjaan Brinkhuis and Kylie Wenn of Luckhoff Senior Secondary, and Andrea le Roux and Dine Rudolf of Cloetesville Senior Secondary.
The three-day event, which was held during the first week of the school holidays, was hosted by the Department of Physiological Sciences in an effort to stimulate awareness around the practical applications of this study field, and about the work and research that physiologists and exercise scientists do.
The outreach, organised by Dr Balindiwe Sishi of the Department of Physiological Sciences, also included career guidance, a tour across the Stellenbosch University campus, a visit to the Animal house and the JS Gericke Library.
“The aim of this outreach was to expose and inspire young learners in such a way that they become interested in the study and research of Physiology, and biomedical science in general,” says Prof Faadiel Essop, chair of the Department of Physiological Sciences.
“During various short practical and theoretical sessions they were able to determine their own blood types and discovered the microscopic world of cells and tissues,” adds Dr Balindiwe Sishi. “We also gave them an introductory lesson into our fluorescence imaging facility, which can be used to study body cells and structures.”
The participants also had the opportunity to learn more about the Department’s various research activities into the study of chronic lifestyle diseases (such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease), muscle research and inflammation, cancer, obesity and anthropometry.