Enthusiastic young scientists seized the opportunity to exhibit their remarkable scientific and innovative research projects at this year’s regional final of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists in the Bloemfontein Region.
A notable turnout of 167 learners in grades 4 to 12 from the region gathered to present their research projects at the event held at the Central University of Technology from 3 to 5 August 2023. The evaluation of 134 projects on display was carried out by 85 judges, comprising educators, specialists, scholars, and avid Eskom Expo supporters.
Eskom Expo’s Bloemfontein Regional Science Fair Director Johnny Haralambous extended his heartfelt congratulations to the young scientists who showcased their research projects. “Thank you to the invaluable sponsors, dedicated volunteers, curious learners, inspiring teachers, and supportive schools that all played an essential role in making the science fair a resounding success. Such acknowledgement not only celebrates the accomplishments of these budding scientists but also underscores the collaborative spirit that propels the advancement of science education,” he said.
This regional expo was one of 38 regional expos planned across all provinces in South Africa. This year witnessed an impressive influx of entries in the Engineering category, with 34 innovative projects submitted. Furthermore, notable participation was observed in the Bio-medical and Medical Sciences category.
Five exceptional young scientists were awarded the prestigious Eskom Special Awards at the region’s awards ceremony. The learners, who received Bluetooth speakers, were:
- Best female: Amra Marikkar from Ladybrand Academy
- Best innovation: Georgia Ioannides from Eunice Primary School
- Best energy project: Kabelo Sekoere and Simthembile Hlehliso from Senakangwedi Secondary School
- Best development project: Nicolas Hugo from Kagisho Combined School
Kagisho Combined School was awarded for being the Quintile 3 school with the most potential. Furthermore, a total of 45 learners received bronze medals, 22 were awarded silver, and 17 received highly esteemed gold medals. Learners from Eunice Primary secured the highest number of gold medals, and overall medals at the event.
Eskom Expo Executive Director, Parthy Chetty, emphasised the need to nurture young scientists through the Eskom Expo. “The event forms a vital part of South Africa’s broader strategy to invest in skills development, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and innovation (STEMI) at the school level while providing a platform for talented young scientists to present their innovations and gain exposure to exciting career opportunities in diverse scientific fields. The impressive projects showcased by learners, particularly those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and girls, highlight a promising future ahead. Congratulations to all the medal winners, and best wishes for even greater accomplishments at the upcoming Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF),” he said.
Advancing learners from the region will have the opportunity to compete against the country’s most exceptional young scientists at the ISF, scheduled for October 2023. This prestigious event offers participants the chance to win prizes, bursaries, scholarships, and various other opportunities. Moreover, learners stand a chance to be selected to present their research and innovations at international science fairs held in the United States of America, Asia, Europe, and across Africa.
For dates and venues of upcoming regional science fairs, click here.