The students and staff of the CTHB and the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) are involved in various outreach initiatives. These initiatives serve to educate and bring knowledge and information to people whether they are our future scientists or those supporting science in South Africa. The initiatives touch the lives of learners (both primary and high school), students at Higher Education Institutions and also the general public.
MRYE (Mpepu Rural Youth Encouragement) Outreach Programme
The CTHB supports the MRYE outreach programme through sponsorship and mentorship. This outreach initiative is run by undergraduate students from a wide range of disciplines and targets learners from high schools in rural areas of South Africa. MRYE's core message is that education provides the key to enable hard-working learners to rise above their social background. This in turn opens opportunities for them to continue with tertiary education and subsequently embark on successful careers.
(See "Information Nuggets" for more detail)
UP with Science
The UP with Science programme is presented by the University of Pretoria to enrich and actively engage high school learners in science. The programme is managed by the Sci-Enza in collaboration with the academic Departments in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences of the University of Pretoria. The CTHB has been involved in the activities of both the Grade 10 and Grade 11 programmes since 2010.
(See "Information Nuggets" for more detail)
The vision for the CTHB includes a strong mentoring component, which is in part achieved with the CTHB Mentorship programme. In this programme undergraduate students are mentored by postgraduate students in the CTHB / TPCP. For this programme, undergraduate students who have the potential to follow long-term careers in science are specifically targeted. The Mentorship programme has numerous important areas of impact. Firstly, the undergraduate students in the programme are exposed to a strong culture of science in a programme that is internationally competitive. Secondly, by targeting undergraduate students, the Mentorship programme promotes postgraduate studies among its mentees, as well as their peers because they will most probably communicate some of their experiences to their peers. The end result is that the broader student body becomes better informed about what a career in science can offer them. Finally, the mentorship programme is also beneficial to postgraduate students. Having to mentor a student can be an important learning experience and being able to mentor young scientists is an essential element of any career in science or research.
National Science Week, ad hoc exhibitions and school visits
The CTHB student body is actively involved every year in the National Science Week. During this week, the CTHB students spark the enthusiasm of learners for science through the use of interesting, and sometimes outrageous, experiments. Students and staff of the CTHB are also regularly participating in official exhibitions and school visits during which they present their research and inform the public about the different research areas of the programme.
(See "Information Nuggets" for more interesting stories)
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Liu FF, Li GQ, Roux J, Barnes I, Wilson AM, Wingfield MJ, Chen SF. (2018) Nine novel species of Huntiella from southern China with three distinct mating strategies and variable levels of pathogenicity. Mycologia 10.1080/00275514.2018.1515450