Young scientists impressed judges with their creative science and innovation research projects at the Gauteng South regional finals of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists.
A total of 175 learners from the region gathered at Curro Academy Savanna City on 30 July to showcase their innovative science, engineering and social investigations, while 40 judges who are specialists and scholars in the various competition categories and Eskom Expo enthusiasts evaluated and gave scores to the 132 projects that were on exhibition.
This regional expo was one of 35 regional expos planned in all provinces across South Africa – the first Eskom Expo physical science fairs since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the most number of entries were seen in the Energy and Engineering categories with 35 and 39 entries respectively. There were also a significant number of entries in Plant Sciences, Biomedical and medical Sciences Categories, with the least number of projects in the Animal Sciences category.
Eskom Expo’s Gauteng Provincial Coordinator, Raven Motsewabangwe, said: “The Gauteng South regional expo was a resounding success. Learners from grades 4 to 12 were all well represented. The expo was forced to move from its traditional home at the University of Johannesburg’s Imbizo Hall in Soweto due to clashes in scheduling; however, long-time Eskom Expo participating school, Curro Academy Savanna City, graciously accepted to host the event”.
A total of 27 learners received bronze medals, while another 27 learners received silver and 11 received gold. Learners from Nizamiye School Mayfair received the most number of gold medals, and medals overall.
The Eskom Special Award winners, who walked away with Bluetooth headsets, were:
- Rabia Zeyneb and Nadia Dissaa (Best Female)
- Keitumetse Sebatlelo (Best Development Project)
- Thakshil Bhaga (Best Energy Project)
- Aisha Mbwana and Liat Sewankambo (Best Innovation)
Eskom Development Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Cecil Ramonotsi, said: “As the funder of Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, it has been a welcoming return to form to be able to host a physical expo in the region this year. It was impressive how learners, especially previously disadvantaged learners and girls, were able to develop such innovative projects while still at school, giving assurance that the future is in good hands. Eskom is investing in young scientists through Eskom Expo, which forms part of a broader Eskom strategy of skills development, investing in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI) at school level.”
Nthato Minyuku, Eskom Group Executive: Government and Regulatory Affairs, said: “Eskom is committed to nurturing South Africa’s brightest young minds through regional science fairs, where they are able to present their innovations and exposed to the diversity of career opportunities in the scientific world. Eskom Expo remains one of our flagship corporate citizenship initiatives, through which we actively develop the innovation potential, presentation skills and competitive edge of our young scientists. Congratulations to all medal winners who we trust will make even greater strides at the Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF).”
Learners in the region who advance to the ISF, which will be held in December, will compete against the best performing young scientists around the country. At this prestigious event, learners chance to win prizes and bursaries, along with scholarships and various opportunities. Learners also stand a chance to be selected to showcase their research or innovation in an international science fair in the United States of America, Asia, Europe and the rest of Africa.