Inaugural Department of Human Biology Learnership Programme

9 Feb 2016 - 18:45

The Department of Human Biology is committed to outreach and the promotion of scientific workshops to high school learners and their teachers to (a) encourage them to follow a career in STEM and (b) to promote the diverse career options and disciplines on offer within our Department. We are also hoping that through these workshops we can encourage diversity in future applicants to our postgraduate student program.

The 2015 Learnership Program was hosted on the 7th October 2015, within the Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, University of Cape Town. Sixty learners from Belgravia High, Curro Schools and other learners from the 2015 Sports Science Institute Careers Program participated in this full day program. Learners were divided into groups of 5 and rotated between several interactive workstations. These workstations provided a platform for scholars to engage with research, basic concepts in medical research and to experience hands on cutting edge technologies currently being employed by our colleagues within the Department. The workstations were designed around selected areas of expertise in Department of Human Biology and included:

  • Biokinetics (Dr Jacolene Kroff; Luke Wewege, Demi Davidow, Amoray Theunissen and Nicola Cupido),
  • Sports Performance (Dr Sharief and Team),
  • The Dynamics of Human Motion (Dr Nicholas Tam, Nikhil Divekar, Dr Janine Gray, Giovanni Milandri, Jaclyn Hill and Tamsyn Fenner),
  • Exo Skeleton (Dr Yuman Albertus Kajee and team);
  • Your Circadian Rhythm (Dr Dale Rae and Rob Henst),
  • Mechanobiology and Modelling (Dr Tamer Abdalrahman, Dr Mazin Sirry, Mr Kevin Sack and A/Prof Tom Franz),
  • DNA Discovery (Dr Marilize Burger, Dr Nancy Laguette, Masouda Rahim, Firzana Firfirey, Kyle Willard, Shameemah Abrahams),
  • Mitochondria: The Powerhouse of Cells, and Cell Culture (Cindy George, Siddiqah George, Dr Hlengiwe Madlala, Dr Amy Mendham, Prisca Osiki and Dr Gerald Maarman),
  • Muscle Mania (Dr Tertius Kohn and Daniel Feldmann),
  • Orthopaedic Biomechanics (Dr Sudesh Sivarasu and team), and
  • Medical Devices (Dr Sudesh Sivarasu and team).

Workstations were interactive and both learners and teachers were fascinated by the research and application of technology currently being used within the South African environment. The program was ended with an opportunity to ask more questions and prizes were awarded to three learners from each school, whilst all learners received a certificate of attendance. The event was partially sponsored by INQABABIOTEC, DST-NRF, and SISSA. A/Prof Alison September was the co-ordinator of the event. The learnership program also provided an invaluable opportunity for our postgraduate students to practice their communication skills to inform the community about research conducted at UCT.

Please visit the gallery if you are interested in photographs taken at the event.