Five reasons to take a school trip to Maropeng in 2016
It's a new school year, and as pupils across the country crack open new books and pick up new pens, we know that educators and principals will be searching for ways to create another meaningful and memorable school year for their young charges.
Here's why Maropeng, the official visitor centre of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site, should top your list of excursion destinations.
1. You'll give your students a meaningful insight into current debates
Last year, issues around xenophobia grabbed headlines; this year, a heated debate around racism began in the new year. How are you engaging young minds about these debates? Maropeng offers an educational and well-researched scientific approach to show the common heritage that all humans share. Why not combat hate with knowledge?
2. Climate change? Sustainability? Access to water? Start thinking here
There is little question that the degradation of the environment will make life more difficult for humans, particularly those living in developing countries like South Africa. The pressure is on leaders to make sustainability a priority in any future plans. At Maropeng we don't just engage visitors on where we've come from – we also get them thinking deeply about where we're going, where we need to go, and how to get there.
We've also created a resource pack for educators that is aligned to the national curriculum.
3. Don't just learn. Explore
Don hard hats and accompany our knowledgeable guides into the historic Sterkfontein Caves. The caves have been the scene of some truly fascinating finds in palaeoanthropology. As they explore the cool, dark cave system, your learners will find out what it takes to be an "underground astronaut", and understand why South Africa is fast becoming a world leader in the field.
4. Your class gets to experience a world-famous site
The global news coverage around the discovery of a fascinating new species, Homo naledi, illustrates the significance of the Cradle of Humankind for people around the world. But this is just the most recent in a string of important discoveries in the Cradle of Humankind that have seen the area being declared a United Nations World Heritage Site. South African children should experience this unique site.
5. You can stay overnight to extend the learning
We upgraded our school accommodation facility, Hominin House, last year, to ensure that we can cater for more learners, enhance their experience and make the stay more comfortable for educators. Apart from the upgraded dormitories, the site is a working model of "green" principles. The multipurpose room runs completely off the grid on solar power, and grey water from Hominin House is recycled. The facility has been designed so that learners are able to see these mechanisms in action.
To book your school trip, email Dorcas Tshabalala at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 014 577 9000.