The outdoor environment offers plenty of learning opportunities and what place can be better than South Africa with its diverse environments where learners can spread out and reap the benefits of the great outdoors.
On Monday 15 March 2021, the Iimbovane Outreach Project and Contour Enviro Group took education outdoors and welcomed a group of Grade 6 learners from JJ Rhode Primary School for an introduction to the amazing world of ants.
The day started with a brisk walk around the Jan Marais Nature Reserve in Stellenbosch where the group explored the reserve’s vegetation.
The second part of the day focused on ant ecology and the learners coupled technology and environmental education by using tablets to explore the life cycle, importance, and diversity of ants. It was then off to fieldwork with learners scattered across the reserve in search of ants.
Then it was time to get creative with crayons and magnifying glasses!
Each learner received a magnifying glass to study the intricate detail of the ants they collected after which they had to draw what they see. The art session was ended with a display of all the artwork and a brief discussion about the scientific names for the parts of an ant’s body.
The learners were excited about being outside and reconnecting with nature again after a turbulent 2020.
“At Contour Enviro Group we strive to inspire a passion and a love for nature in the minds of young people. Programmes and interventions like these provide the perfect platform to enable this,” says Catherine Kühn, Operations Manager of Contour Enviro Group.
This one-day outdoor education programme formed part of the Cape Winelands Junior LandCare programme with the Department of Agriculture.