The 32nd Eskom Expo and International Science Fair took place from 3 to 6 October 2012 at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg. The International Science Fair recognises talented students in the fields of technology, science, mathematics, innovation and engineering.
ZooClub member Ofentse Litsele proudly displays the bronze medal and certificates that he won at the Eskom Expo and International Science Fair.
ZooClub members learn more about the signs of the wild.
Spoor is matched to the animal which makes it.
ZooClub member Ofentse Litsele was selected as one of the 50 Northern Gauteng finalists to present at the International Science Fair. Ofentse proudly presented his project on mycoherbicides (toxic fungi that kill plants) and had an enjoyable time at the fair exchanging ideas and learning from fellow participants.
On the final day, Ofentse was awarded a bronze medal, a well-deserved achievement that has filled him with inspiration for next year's Expo. Ofentse commented that he had "really enjoyed the Expo and learnt a lot from the projects and expectations for next year, which include focusing more on scientific conceptions".
"Watch out 2013, I am winning gold!" he added with a broad grin.
The ZooClub had a busy programme over the school holidays. One of the activities arranged for them was to learn about spoor identification.
It was firstly explained to the ZooClub members (Zookies) that understanding the signs of the wild helps them to understand the characteristics and behaviour of animals. They learned that spoor is an animal's footprint and the trail it leaves behind. It was explained to them that, while identifying spoor, there are three different groups to consider which are associated with the animal's foot structure. Different spoor illustrations were shown to them to give them a understanding of the three different foot structure groups.
The Zookies then participated in a fun activity where they had to match the correct spoor with the animal which made it. This activity confirmed that the Zookies had grasped the concept of the different foot structures. It also showed them that different species of the same animal can have different spoor too, for example the White and Black rhino.
The Zookies were then required to fill in their worksheets, answering various questions about spoor and filling in a table that required them to walk around. The table asked for five animals under each foot structure/spoor shape.
The ZooClub members not only thoroughly enjoyed the day, but now also have a better understanding of the signs of the wild.
Claire Fordred, NZG Intern
The National Zoological Gardens of
South Africa is a proud facility of
the National Research Foundation