First off: the ZooClub is a group that can be joined on the successful completion of the zoo’s Junior Nature Conservator’s course. This course is offered from Grades 7-12 during the school holidays.
Recently current members and alumnae who completed the course during December 2016 and January 2017 were invited to an adventurous night camp at the zoo. The youngsters were joined by members from the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) and those from the Osizweni Education Development Centre. Here ZooClubbers engaged in activities that included a science show and a rocket launch.
A day visit was also organised for the ZooClub members to visit the Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History in Pretoria. Here the learners were able to explore the Animal Kingdom, Geoscience and the Discovery Centre.
ZooClub members also excitedly participated in their first project of miniSASS. The purpose of the project is to collect and identify invertebrate organisms that are indicators of water quality. The observations and findings that were made indicate that the Apies River, that runs through the NZG, is still polluted. Appropriate interventions and further monitoring of trends in the Apies River will be conducted on a regular basis.
The ZooClub also has indicated interest in participating in the 2017 Eskom Expo. A mini workshop was organised to introduce and explain the requirements for participation at the expo to members. The 2016 participants also showcased their projects at the workshop.
By: Angeliné Schwan, Communications Officer and Parks Leshaba, Education Officer, NZG