Cheetah and helicopters teach children about science

Posted on July 09, 2013

Byron, who is from the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, is part of its outreach programme to teach children about animal conservation. Faith Rabanyane, an environmental education officer from the Centre shared some facts about cheetahs, including that the mantle of the cheetach cub mimics the back of a badger as a camouflage technique to protect the cubs from predators. The children were in awe and as Dirk (11) said: “It was freaky in the beginning to see a cheetah so close, but it was wonderful to touch it”.

Byron the cheetah visiting Sci-Enza.

Rita Groenewald, Byrons’s handler also made an appeal to the public to sponsor underprivileged children to enable them to visit the Cheetah Centre.

During the rest of the holiday programme, children had the opportunity to learn about the science of construction in a fun way. They discovered more about skyscrapers, nests, bridges and bee hives – these are some of the strong structures around us. Mr Hideo Nakano, a senior volunteer from the Japan International Cooperation Agency showed the children how to build their own amazing toys,amongst others a helicopter (Zamcopter) from ordinary things such as plastic bottles, paperclips and a rubber band. Visit http:/ to learn more.

Hideo Nakano showed the children how to build their own amazing toys.

Sci-Enza is the oldest interactive Science Centre in South Africa. It started in 1977 as an open laboratory in the old Physics Building by Prof Lötz Strauss, a professor in the Department of Physics. This open “laboratory” gave students the opportunity to “play” with scientific apparatus in an informal setting. Since 2005 the Science Centre’s name has changed to Sci-Enza. The name is a combination of the word “science” and the isiZulu word “sebenza”, meaning “work” or “to do”.

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