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INTRODUCTION
 
Science Education-Outreach programme...Inspiring future scientists
The SAEON Science Education Outreach Programme seeks to attract, expose and encourage 14-17 year old learners to pursue science careers at higher education institutions. By interacting with scientist and researchers, learners get a hands-on experience of research in environmental monitoring and observation. The programme is coordinated by the National Office and implemented by the Nodes. The SAEON Science Education-Outreach Programme seeks to expose and encourage learners to pursue careers in the environmental sciences.
Making learning fun
The SAEON Science Education Outreach programme not only operates on the mission of inspiring and encouraging learners to pursue science careers, but further incorporates a sense of excitement into the programme, thus “making learning fun”. One of the best ways to involve learners are the science camps. These camps enable selected learners to participate in real hands-on science over three years. Learners start with an introductory camp in grade 9, while grade 10s begin to collect data and grade 11 learners acquire skills to analyse, interpret and present the data. SAEON also provides opportunities for groups of teachers to get hands-on data gathering experience by joining researchers on field trips, coastal surveys or deep sea research cruises.
SAEON Nodes
SAEON's research nodes are located in 6(six) different bio-geographic regions throughout the country: >Arid Lands Node: Based at SANPARKS Kimberley. >Egagasini Node: Based in Cape Town, Western Cape. >Elwandle Node: Based in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape. >Fynbos Node: Based in Cape Town, Western Cape. >Grassland, Forest and Wetlands Node: Based in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal Province. >Ndlovu Node: Based in Phalaborwa, Limpopo Province.
SAEON Special Awards
The South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) also participates in the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists' Annual event, where deserving learners from grades 6-7, 9-10, and 11-12 who presents research projects specifically under various science classifications (such as environmental monitoring and observation, engineering science, nature conservation, biotechnology etc.), get awarded the SAEON Special Award based on excellence. Furthermore, not only the learners who are within the SAEON Education Outreach programme receive this award, but also those who are from outside the schools which participate in the SAEON Science Education Outreach programme get awarded these special prizes. Pictured: Sibongile Mokoena(in black)-SAEON Education Outreach Coordinator giving a SAEON Special Award to Luphelo Belu.
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