Mullersrus Primary School
We value our relationship with the local school in Buffeljags. Every time we go there to interact with the children, we get a warm and welcoming vibe. We recently visited the school and interacted with approximately 70 students in grades 5 and 6.
We were debating what to do with the kids, but we decided to incorporate rivers and freshwater systems, as well as art.
As usual, we called on Donovan Julius to help us with the art and coordinate the children's drawings. Ricardo, our project manager, and a talented musician, brought the marimbas with him to teach the students a few notes.
The night before, we had dropped some fish nets in the Buffeljags River. We went to the river in the morning to see what we could find and discovered some beautiful freshwater shrimp, as well as some small catfish (aliens), and tilapia (alien). We took the fish to the school grounds for a short time to show the children to see what was found in the river. They were ecstatic to see the fish.
The students were divided into two groups and rotated so that each group experienced art, music and science (SASS).
For the art project, the students created drawings that depicted nature and its protection. The drawings turned out beautifully, and the groups were very proud of their work. They displayed it for photographs to be taken. The marimbas were also well received and sounded beautiful.
To educate the children about ecology, Twakkie spoke to the groups of students about the fish found in the area, with a focus on the redfin fish. Twakkie showed them a picture of a redfin fish from his book and told them to keep an eye out for it and to protect it. We later played games with the children and spoke about macroinvertebrates as a follow-up to the miniSASS assessment that we had previously completed.
In our discussions, we told the students about four groups of macroinvertebrates, two of which are very tolerant of pollution (worms and leaches) and two of which are more sensitive (stoneflies and mayflies). The group had to pick one group and discuss the importance of keeping the river clean. Following the discussion, each group gave us a presentation on how to keep the river clean and to protect the macro invertebrates. The children enjoyed it and learnt a lot.
After all that was said and done, the visit went so well and the students got a special treat at the end. We also had help from a volunteer, Tayla, who had joined us for the day and was a great help. Thank you so much. Thank you also to our funder, the Table Mountain fund.
MiniSASS in Barrydale
As a follow up from the Mural Project, we planned a miniSASS assessment with the community kids from Net vir Pret After Care Centre. Peter Takelo granted us permission during the April school holidays and assisted us in organizing the miniSASS and logistics.
In Barrydale, we met with Peter Takelo at the BF Oosthuizen Primary School, where Net vir Pret puts together a school holiday program. We went down to the river with 26 kids and their supervisors for the miniSASS assessment. We demonstrated the sampling techniques to the students, and they had the opportunity to examine the various macroinvertebrates that we found. We divided the students into two groups and later moved around to see what was collected in each sample.
We managed to pick up a small critically endangered Tradouw redfin in the SASS net which was very special, and we carefully returned it safely to the river.
We had to calculate the river's score after all the excitement of identifying the samples. They were very interested in learning what the Huis river's score was. We counted along with them and came to a score of 5.2 in a sandy stream, indicating that the river was moderately modified. We went on to explain what they needed to do to safeguard the river system and we also all helped to pick up the litter that we could see in the river.
It was another successful environmental education outing, and we hope that the children learnt a lot
GVB Conservancy Staff