FABI hosted two groups of High School students over the past two weeks. The Grade 11 Life Sciences student group from the Afrikaanse Höer Seunskool (Afrikaans Boys’ High School – “Affies”) and Grade 12 Life Sciences group from St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls were exposed to research being conducted at the Institute. 

The visit by students from St Mary’s is now an annual occasion where the girls are also addressed by female academics. This year saw Prof. Brenda Wingfield and Dr Kershney Naidoo address the girls on the role and challenges faced by female academics as well as their vision for the future.

The girls were then given the opportunity to do gel electrophoresis preparation to tie in with the biotechnology module currently being covered in their school syllabus.

Affies is located close to the University and this is the second year the school has sent its students to visit the Institute to get an insight into the work being done at the University and gain a practical insight into research being conducted. 

The students are currently studying bacteria and viruses and were hosted by Prof. Fanus Venter, head of Department from the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology.  

Students were briefed on biological Nitrogen fixation in plants, given a chance to inoculate and plate bacterial cultures before being told about fungal and bacterial symbioses in indigenous Protea species. 

Visits by scholars forms an important part of FABI’s mandate to educate the youth and instill an interest in Science by exposing them to high level research being conducted at the Institute.