Driven by enthusiasm, young scientists eagerly presented their outstanding scientific and innovative research projects at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists regional final this year in the Free State’s Bethlehem region.
A total of 242 learners in grades 4 to 12 from the region gathered to present their research projects at the event held at the University of the Free State’s Qwa Qwa Campus on 19 August 2023. The evaluation of the 177 projects on display was carried out by 63 judges, comprising educators, specialists, scholars, and avid Eskom Expo supporters.
Eskom Expo’s Bethlehem Regional Science Fair Director, Lekgabe Dihlabi, highlighted the remarkable achievements of the young scientists, saying: “Their exceptional performance at the science fair is a testament to their dedication, curiosity, and innovative thinking. It’s heartening to witness the enthusiasm and passion these young minds bring to the realm of science and technology”.
At the region’s awards ceremony, five exceptional young scientists were awarded the prestigious Eskom Special Awards. The learners, who received Bluetooth speakers, were:
- Best female: Asheera Osman from Ladybrand High School
- Best energy project: Krish Patel and Nthati Moloi from Hoërskool Harrismith
- Best development project: Bokamoso Ramapaeyane and Lereko Lentsha from Hlohlowane Primary
Other special prizes were awarded to the following young scientists:
- Almare Coffee from Ladybrand Primary school: Top Junior Project
- Krish Patel and Nthati Moloi: Top Senior Project
- Asheera Osman from Ladybrand High School: Best Overall Project
Furthermore, a total of 59 learners received bronze medals, 25 were awarded silver, and 10 received highly esteemed gold medals. Notably, learners from New Horizon College Harrismith secured the highest number of gold medals, and overall medals at the event.
Eskom Expo Executive Director, Parthy Chetty, said: “Eskom Expo contributes to the overarching strategy to foster skills development, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and innovation (STEMI) at the school level, finds its cornerstone in the event we are here to commemorate. This event not only provides a platform for gifted young scientists to exhibit their cutting-edge innovations but also exposes them to a realm of captivating career prospects in diverse scientific fields. The impressive projects showcased by learners, particularly those who have triumphed over previously disadvantaged backgrounds and girls, serve as a testament to the boundless potential of our future. We extend heartfelt congratulations to all the medal winners and offer our sincerest wishes for even greater achievements at the much-anticipated Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF)”.