St Dominic’s Academy in Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal is becoming a fertile ground for producing budding school scientists. This will undoubtedly boost efforts of creating a pipeline of young people pursuing studies in the STEM fields.
Suhaan Singh is the latest to add his name to the academy’s growing list of science boffins. He recently won a bronze medal at the 2020 Eskom Expo International Science Fair is Suhaan Singh.
The 16 year-old used a Lego kit to construct and modify a robot to help automate the screening and sanitisation processes during the Covid-19. Singh said he came up with the project after he realised the inefficient and tedious nature of the screening process. He said the process requires a high number of staff to manually sanitise and take people’s temperature when they enter a building.
“The research conducted investigated ways to maximise the efficiency of the screening process by creating a mechanical means (robot) capable of executing the entire process,” said Suhaan.
What impressed with his project was the fact that it addresses the current pressing and real-life issue (Covid-19) while the research showed creativity and novelty.
Singh has been selected to represent South Africa in the 2021 Virtual Regeneron Inernational Science and Engineering Fair (Isef) in the US, which will take place from 16-21 next month. The global science fair is held annually and involves around 1800 young aspiring scientists from across the world to compete by presenting innovative science projects.
The organisers of the ‘Eskom Expo for Young Scientists’ said Singh’s project ticked all the boxes. One of the main requirements is to identify a specific real-life problem or challenge and propose how to successfully mitigate or resolve it. They said Singh has not only displayed ingenuity but also a deep understanding of the engineering category and produce research at an international level.
Andrew Etzinger, general manager of risk and sustainability, said Eskom contributes to the country’s effort to develop young scientists and engineers through investing in the science expo.
“Eskom is proud that every year, our young scientists compete in the largest science fair in the world, Regeneron Isef, and produces world-class research projects to compete with the best in the world. Suhaan has demonstrated the innovation that is much needed in South Africa, to help make us internationally competitive, as he takes this step onto the international stage,” said Etzinger.
Parthy Chetty, Eskom Expo executive director also congratulated the school “for producing excellent young scientists each year”. Said Chetty: “Suhaan has demonstrated how to identify problems or challenges all around us, and then proceeded to solve one of them. This is a great example of extending what is learnt in school and applying it to the real world around us. Eskom Expo makes this possible.”