The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) Outreach Team welcomed 18 eager and very energetic Grade 6 learners from Radford House Primary School along with their teacher, Mrs Talana Wilson, to FABI on Wednesday 28 February. The reason for their visit was to learn more about what FABI does and how it aligns to what they are currently learning at school. The school caters for high-potential or so-called “gifted” learners. Their theme for this year is “The Science of Superheroes,” with a focus on DNA: what it is and what it does. They have also learned about genetic mutations, transcription, translation and have even covered genetic engineering in particular the CRISPR/Cas9 system. 

With this theme in mind the Outreach team, comprising Juanita Avontuur, Benedicta Swalarsk-Parry, Angel Maduke, Modjadji Makwela and Fezile Mthunzi took on the role of inventing new superhero characters such as the Plant Doctors. These Plant Doctor superheroes started off the day by explaining their role in the fight against pests and diseases that are currently killing our trees. The learners were thereafter further enthralled by the various activities the Outreach team had planned such as completing a crossword puzzle, building a DNA helix using sweets and extracting DNA from a banana. By the end of the day the Science Superheroes from Radford House left FABI bubbling with Science enthusiasm.