Introducing primary school educators to Iimbovane’s hands-on approach to biodiversity education

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Biodiversity is part of the Grade 7 Natural Sciences curriculum and educators are often looking for new ideas to make the topic more tangible for learners.

Now, with the help of Iimbovane, educators from primary schools in the WCED metro central district can make their biodiversity lessons more hands-on by exploring ground-dwelling insects in their own schoolgrounds.

On Thursday 3 of March 2022, Iimbovane trained 13 primary school educators teaching Natural Sciences.

The training took place at Protea Primary School, in Bonteheuwel, and schools represented at the training included Protea PS, Vuyani PS, Golden Grove PS, Mimosa PS, Disa PS, E.A. Janari PS, Mokone PS, Siyabulela PS, Zimasa PS and Nerina PS.

Ants were the focus species throughout the training and educators were shown how ants can be used to teach different curriculum topics.

Special attention were given to the curriculum topic ‘Classification of living things’ and educators were tasked with identifying a few ants to genus level, using the Iimbovane ant identification key.

At the end of the day, educators each received a ‘Biodiversity Sampling Kit’ containing the equipment they need for collecting ground-dwelling insects in their own schoolgrounds, including forceps, petri dishes, vials, sampling containers and a pocket microscope for identifying insects.

The miniature creatures created a lot of excitement and interest amongst the educators. As Asive Sihuhu, Grade 7 Natural Science educator at Vuyani Primary School, explained her experience of the training: “The training was fantastic! It was great learning about different subfamilies of ants and all the fun facts about them. The different ways to hunt and keep ants for a long time. It was a nice activity that I easily applied on learners and that they really enjoyed.”

Educators identifying ant species as part of the training.