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On 2 May 2017, three very excited learners from South Africa depart from the OR Tambo international airport to participate in the International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering, and Environment Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP) in Houston, USA, taking place from 3-8 May. It is the largest science fair event of its kind in the world with this speciality.

These three learners did exceptionally well in the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Finals in October 2016 and therefore have the honour of representing South Africa. The learners are excited and look forward to meeting likeminded learners from all over the world and learning about their cultures and different science projects. They will present the following projects at this international stage:

  • Sanele Msizi Hlongwane from Ladysmith, will present his project titled “Propellant Cheapskates”. The purpose of this project is to determine whether different propellant families used in amateur rockets can be improved so that they can perform nearly as powerful as industrial propellants used in commercial and private rockets.
  • Cornelis Rautenbach from Pretoria, will present his project titled “The El Nino Southern Oscillation and rainfall in South Africa”. In South Africa it is a general perception that El Niño seasons are associated with overall droughts, while La Niña seasons are associated with overall wetter conditions. In the study this perception was tested by investigating whether the influence of El Niño and La Niña seasons are month and area dependant instead of weather dependant.
  • Junho Ko from Cape Town, will present his project titled “Decreasing Temperature and Retaining Hot Water in Informal Settlements using Plastic Bottles filled with Water”. Millions of people living in South Africa are forced to live in informal settlements, and the heat induced by these "shacks" can cause many heat related problems for the people living in the shacks. Junho decided to come up with a cheap, easy-to-use solution for this problem.

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