Speech aimed at educators- why they should bring children to Maropeng

Essay by TjopUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, October 2006

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Speaker 1

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for joining us today. As you will no doubt have heard in the news, a new initiative in the Cradle of Humankind has been opened, called Maropeng. It is a government funded project which will hopefully boost the South African economy by attracting tourists from all over the world. Maropeng can also be used as an educational facility, which is why we have brought you here today. My colleagues will share with you how exactly this can be achieved. It's not necessary for you to be lectured on the "boring details", so we will be telling you about the many ways that Maropeng can 'Edutain', as well as facilities that cater for school trips and the suchlike.

Insert name

Thank you (name). Good afternoon everyone, my name is (name). I will be telling you a little about prices- okay, we said we wouldn't be giving you 'boring details', but sometimes it's necessary so you will have to bear with me! What you basically need to know is that the price per learner for an unguided tour around Maropeng is R25, while a guided tour is R35.

A guided tour around the Sterkfontein caves is R20 per learner. For the full experience, it's just R50 per pupil- and best of all, every teacher per ten learners can get in for free! Obviously we realize that for some schools situated far from Maropeng, coming all the way to Maropeng only to see half the attractions but to have paid the full price, it's a bit unfair. For this reason, two children's dormitories have been built at Maropeng, each able to sleep 60 learners. The price per night is R150 a piece, but this also includes three meals.

Insert name

Good afternoon, my name is .........., and my colleagues, ............ &............. would like to tell you about important fossils found at Maropeng, as well as the main attractions at our beautiful World Heritage Site.

Well, everybody has heard about 'Mrs Ples', but who is she? Mrs Ples was almost human- like a teacher one might say! Jokes aside, she was born and died around 2 million years ago. She could walk upright, and had a similar brain structure to a chimpanzee. Her skull was discovered in 1947 by Doctor Robert Broom and his assistant, John Robinson. The discovery of Mrs Ples highlighted the controversial issue that perhaps humankind was born out of Africa. Mrs Ples received her name after Broom wrongly designated her species as Plesianthropus transvaalensis, or 'near-human from tranvaal'. She's actually an Australopithecus africanus. And this wouldn't be a true South African fossil without some scandal, so here's the truth- recent research shows that Mrs Ples is actually a MAN! But why are we telling you about Mrs Ples? For the same reason that ......... will tell you about Little Foot- these are some of the most important fossils ever discovered, and they are both on display at Maropeng.

(next person)

Hi everyone, I'm going to tell you a sad little tale. Once upon a time, around 4, 17 million years ago, a poor little australopithecine, an ancestor of modern humans, tripped and fell down a steep vertical shaft into a cave below. Little Foot, as he is now known, never escaped from the cave, and his bones lie, embedded in a rock, as proof that Humankind was born in Africa. Little Foot was discovered in the mid 1990's, and is still in Sterkfontein being painstakingly excavated by Dr Ron Clark. Little Foot is probably the most important hominid discovery in history, as when he is completely excavated, he will provide invaluable clues about the origins of humankind. One day, he will be on display with Mrs Ples (or Mr!) at the Maropeng Visitor's centre.

(next person)

If that doesn't tell you what an important World Heritage and Educational site Maroppeng is, I'm not sure what will! More than just Mrs Ples and Little Foot have been found at Maropeng- 500 hominid fossil bones and 9000 stone tools have also been found at Sterkfontein. There is also a visitor's centre with interactive displays, such as the 'Dial a Dodo', which is made up of telephones, where one can pick up the phone and learn about the dodo. there is an underground boat ride, a children's dig, a marketplace and restaurants. There's too much to tell you now, so you will have to come and see for yourself!

We'll see you over to .......... and .......... to tell you a little about Maropeng's newest initiative: the curriculum linked resource pack.

Insert name

Yes, thank you .......... . As .............. just said, I will be telling you about the curriculum linked resource packs. This is a new initiative recently launched by Maropeng. This pack was just introduced to the department of Education, so you will be one of the first groups of people to know about it! This initiative was designed by Maropeng, sateacher.co.za and Flow Communications, and was designed to make school's visits to Maropeng more meaningful. Themes such as diversity, common ancestors, sustainability, evolution and development are slotted into the packs, which cater for children from grade R to grade 12, in a fun and user-friendly way. This pack is great in that it is filled with activities which can be done during and after the visit, and it can be used as a formal portfolio or informal assessments. These packs can benefit both teachers and learners. .............. will tell you about what subjects are included in the resource packs.

Insert name

Thanks .........., and thank YOU, ladies and gentlemen, for joining us today. I'm just going to give you a brief overview of what subjects and what grades are catered for by these packs. We have 3 different packs for grade 1-3, or Foundation Phase. These include a Mathematics pack, a Life Orientation pack and a Literacy pack.

For the Intermediate Phase, we offer seven different packs- for technology, Arts & Culture, EMS, Life Orientation, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences.

We also offer Resource packs for the Senior Phase- Technology, Social Sciences, EMS, Languages, Life Orientation, Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Lastly, we have packs for the F.E.T Phase, on subjects like Tourism, EMS, Languages, Life Orientation, Life Sciences, Maths Literacy and Physical Science.

As you can see, the Maropeng Teacher's Resource Foundation has been busy. I would love to tell you more about the Resource packs, like what you can find in each pack and how they are linked to the curriculum, but unfortunately I don't have time. If you go to www.maropeng.co.za , follow the links and then click on 'education', you will find all the resource packs available for you to download.


Thank you very much for joining us today, and we hope that you have enjoyed the presentation and that it will convince you that Maropeng is a great place for your pupils to learn about where they come from. We hope to see you soon!