The Division of Immunology hosted a full day of outreach on Friday 1st November 2019 for high school learners; 93 pupils attended from Retreat, Lavender Hill, Joe Slovo and Khayelitsha.
The outreach team was led by Associate Professor Reto Guler who organised a day of interactive science and learning.
Associate Professor Guler was joined by Shandré Pillay, Amkele Ngomti, Shelby Jones, Maxine Höft, Sumayah Salie, Lorna Gcanga, Julius Chia and Mumin Ozturk in the organising the
outreach day. The DOI would like to thank them for all their hard work in putting the day together and overseeing the students.
Outreach Day Organising team - Back row: Reto Guler, Mumin Ozturk,
Julius Chia. Front row: Shandré Pillay, Amkele Ngomti, Maxine Höft,
Shelby Jones, Lorna Gcanga. Not pictured: Sumayah Salie
The day began with 93 enthusiastic school learners from Heathfield (Retreat), Lavender Hill, Sinenjongo (Joe Slovo), Uxolo (Khayelitsha) and Masiyile (Khayelitsha) busing in from their areas
to arrive at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM). The IDM was a kind sponsor for transport and consumables for the day’s activities.
University of Cape Town (UCT) lecturers volunteered to give talks to the students on South African infectious diseases. Phillip Smith began the morning with an important lecture on HIV Awareness,
asking the learners what they would want from adolescent HIV care. Head of the DOI, Professor Clive Gray followed with his presentation on HIV and immunology which reiterated the ways in which
HIV can be infectious. A/Prof. Reto Guler presented the basics of immunology and on statins as host-directed drug therapy for TB. Julius Chia taught the pupils about the origin of Listeriosis infections,
while Tiroyaone Bogale spoke about the brain and how stress effects it during learning and exam periods. The lectures where then wrapped up by Michelle Fisher from SATVI who raised awareness
about TB and how important treatment compliance is.
Outreach Day - Prof Clive Gray lecture
The Grade 10’s were then invited to enjoy a delicious lunch sponsored by King Pie. The King Pie combo meals were enjoyed while pupils were given an opportunity to ask the lecturers any questions they
may have had about diseases or studying science. After lunch, the students and organisers gathered on the grass to take group photos. Rabie kindly sponsored printed memorabilia t-shirts for the day as
gifts to the students and these were donned during the photo shoot.
Outreach Day - King Pie sponsors at lunch time
The learners were then introduced to their practical for the day with a video which showcased each detail step-by-step. A/Prof Guler also took the students through all the safety protocol needed for them to
enter and enjoy the laboratory.
The Grade 10’s were divided into two groups, with one group heading to the lab and the other to the Pathology Learning Centre and swopping later. The lab students donned their first lab coats, taking many
selfies and photos for their friends. The excited group investigated the effect of handwashing with water or soap has on microbial growth using trypticase soy broth agar plates and their hands. Envirochem
kindly sponsored handsept liquid soaps for the students as a gift and as part of the experiment. Each pupil’s experiment results will be shared with them on WhatsApp groups and the Facebook page UCT
Immunology Outreach both set up for outreach day.
Outreach Day - Julius Chia and school pupils in lab
After thoroughly enjoying their first lab experiences, the pupils enjoyed a presentation at the UCT Pathology Learning Centre led by Dr Jane Yeats. The Grade 10’s were taken through diseases such as strokes
and TB infections all over the human body. The pupils remained fascinated as they were allowed to hold specimens.
The Heart of Cape Town museum was last on the day’s agenda with museum kindly sponsoring reduced tickets for the high school students. The museum took the visitors through all of Dr Christiaan Barnard’s
build-up to and the actual day of the first human heart transplant. Videos of Mr Hamilton Naki and Dr Barnard educated and entertained while the museum tour gave the real-world experience of this rich South
Outreach Day - Heart of Cape Town Museum
The Outreach Day was a resounding success with fond farewells made when the pupils boarded their busses to return to their schools. The DOI would like to thank A/Prof Guler and his team for making the
day such a triumph. Our gratitude also goes to the sponsors who made the day possible: IDM, King Pie, Rabie, The Heart of Cape Town Museum and Envirochem.