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Sci-Enza Celebrates Darwin Day with launch of Art and Poetry competition

Deur Rudi Horak

Gelaai op 13 Februarie 2009

Coert Erasmus as Charles Darwin  (1809 Ė 1882) visited Sci-Enza to celebrate his 200th Birthday. Pictured here is
Coert Erasmus as Charles Darwin (1809 Ė 1882) visited Sci-Enza to celebrate his 200th Birthday. Pictured here is

Sci-Enza launched an Art and Poetry competition on 11 Feb 2008, a day ahead of International Darwin day. Learners from a school in Pretoria were enlightened and amused when they discovered Fun Facts about the English Naturalist, Charles Darwin, who postulated the theory of evolution by natural selection.

Some of the interesting facts the kids discovered about Darwin is that he was married to his first cousin, he almost lost his job due to the shape of his nose, he found Shakespeare “nauseatingly boring” and that he was above all a remarkable scientist.

Paul Schoeman a grade 10 learner from Hoërskool Garsfontein, who attended the launch, said that he enjoyed the day a lot more than he thought he would. “Darwin was not just another boring guy – the discoveries he made without today’s technology is just amazing!”

Learners had the opportunity to experience natural selection in a hands-on demonstration by the Science Centre staff at Sci-Enza. “Explaining Darwin’s findings in a visual, relatable way helps kids to understand the science behind, and the legitimacy of the theory of evolution by means of natural selection” says Irene van Nugteren, a postgraduate Biotechnology student and science communicator at Sci-Enza.

“The ‘Discovering Darwin’ Art and Poetry competition aims to let learners discover the amazing contribution that Darwin made in the field of natural science and also to allow them to relate their own experience of nature, science and the world around them to his work of exploration and scientific investigation” says Rudi Horak, manager of the Sci-Enza Science Centre at the University of Pretoria.

MaropengTM, winner of the 2008 ‘Tourist Attraction’ category in the ‘South African Tourism Welcome Awards’, is sponsoring a trip for the two winners of the best poem and best artwork categories and his/her class to MaropengTM, the official visitor centre of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Cash prizes for the best entries will also be awarded and winning artwork and poetry will be on exhibition at Sci-Enza and Maropeng,

For more information about the competition contact Rudi Horak at 012 420 2865. Entry forms are available online at


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