(Mrs K Dallimore is a High School Science Teacher at St Cyprian's School)  

Human Impact on the Environment is one of the core themes studied in Grade 11 Life Sciences in the new CAPS syllabus, so it was exciting to be invited by the Teaching Biology Project and the City of Cape Town to take part in a pilot study. Ten schools were elected to become involved in this project.

Each school was paired with a partner school in order to conduct an investigation/research on aspects of human impact on the environment through a case example in Cape Town. The paired schools made use of social media such as a Facebook Group and WhatsApp, to share their research and communicate their findings. They proposed recommendations and solutions to the problems encountered and presented their findings in a 10 minute video to invited guests from the City of Cape Town and their peers at a gala event yesterday.

Our project, Waste Management in the City involved a site visit to Coastal Park Landfill where Shahid Kannemeyer, a CCT official explained the case example to the students. This was also their opportunity to take photographs and gather as much data as possible. Over the past two months there were three Saturday afternoon workshops at Bishops’ in which they were given tips and guidance on setting up groups on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Skype and an opportunity to plan their research. The second workshop involved basic videoing techniques and instructions on how to use cell phones to create good videos and the software used for voice overs. The final workshop viewed the final production of the movie, checking accuracy of the content and the standard of the video.

Our girls worked extremely hard and I was proud to watch the presentation of their video. They were asked to answer questions from the audience and they showed grace and good knowledge of their topic.