May 2015
Contents / home
Learners to link up with astronaut
Shared Sky, shared wisdom
"Talking science" competition
A meeting of minds
Young scientists take on Australia
Learners unveil project in Beijing
Introduction to crystals
Young Science Communicators' Competition
SAASTA inspires class of 2015
Meet Prof. Nox Makunga
Top young achiever's journey
Wonders of water at Scifest Africa
Learners work with particle physicists
Meet SAEON's new education officer
Light comes out of the darkness
In the news
Upcoming events
It's a fact!

Scifest Africa 2015: Wonders of water on show at Water World

What is water? Why is it so special? Why is it necessary for life? Where does water come from?

How big is the ocean? Is the ocean getting warmer?

How varied are marine and freshwater biodiversity? What IS biodiversity? Why should we study the sea?

What are the aliens in our watery ecosystems? Why are they there?

These are just some of the questions that teased the enquiring minds of young and old alike at Scifest Africa's Water World, which was held in Grahamstown from 18 to 24 March 2015.


Handling a pipette requires fine motor skills at the SAIAB Molecular Laboratory exhibition at Water World
Three-in-one – this scale model of the jaw of the extinct Megalodon shark exhibited by the KZN Sharks Board at Water World, says it all about the size of these giants of the ocean


The fish farm at Rhodes University provided visitors to Water World a chance to learn about aquaculture as well as some of the threats posed by alien invasive fishes to other fishes that occur naturally in our rivers and streams
Students from the Biological Control Unit of Rhodes University's Zoology Department set up a fascinating exhibition for Water World of alien invasive plants that live in or near water

Diverse range of experiences

The South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) hosted the 3rd annual Water World, which showcased a wide range of water-related exhibits. SAIAB challenged Scifest visitors to:

  • find out why sharks have so many teeth and even touch them with Shark World and its amazing robotic shark, presented by the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board.

  • put on their board shorts or bikinis and take a day-trip to the coast in the company of South Africa's premier A-rated estuarine scientist, Professor Alan Whitfield, who explained how the intricate and complex ecosystems of estuaries sustain and nurture fishes and other aquatic creatures, while having to cope with the increasing demands of human development.

  • find out how Algoa Bay, right on their doorstep, has been declared an international Hope Spot for marine conservation.

  • watch Karen Anderson, who has been diving the oceans for 45 years, demonstrate what happens to light below the surface of the ocean.

  • take a tour through Water World and see SAIAB's collection of aquatic specimens, or make a booking to attend one or more of the informative talkshops on offer.


Smile! You've been caught! Steven Mabugama from the KZN Sharks Board gave learners a unique opportunity to touch a real two-metre-long tiger shark and then watch a dissection at Water World
It takes concentration to try your hand at DNA sequencing at the SAIAB Molecular Laboratory exhibition at Water World


Learners get hands-on experience of instrumentation used for genetic analysis at the SAIAB Molecular Laboratory exhibition at Water World
A touch exhibit by the Sustainable Seas Trust at Water World introduces children to some of the treasures that are found on our beaches

Water World event organiser Vanessa Rouhani said: "It was an excellent week and we're very happy with the interest shown in all the exhibits."

Read more information on the full Water World programme of events on the Scifest website.

By Penny Haworth, Communications and Governance Manager, SAIAB