Chaylin Myburgh from Kimberley Girls’ High School in the Northern Cape shares her experience taking part in the Broadcom Math, Applied Science, Technology & Engineering Rising Stars (MASTERS) Programme, which took place alongside the 2022 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) from 7 to 13 May 2022 in Atlanta in the USA.
The learner was selected by Eskom Expo for Young Scientists to represent South Africa because of her confidence and linguistic ability. Although Chaylin presented her research project, which was awarded a silver medal at the 2021 Eskom Expo International Science Fair, to the other finalists, the programme was more focused on individual development and leadership. For these reasons, the Eskom Expo panel felt that Chaylin was an excellent candidate.
Chaylin’s project aimed to compare two solar water heaters, mostly made from recycled materials, one with an aluminium can and the other with a steel can to determine which can heats water the fastest. With the extension of the project, a silicone bottle and glass jar were added to determine whether these materials would allow water to heat faster. It was found that aluminium cans allowed water to be heated the fastest. This could potentially be used when designing new solar water heaters.
Chaylin shares her experience below:
There were 7 delegates, including myself from South Africa and several hundreds of others from 16 countries, regions and territories.
I boarded the plane at 10:45 at Kimberley Airport to O.R. Tambo International Airport (Gauteng) on Friday, 06 May 2022. I really felt safe on the plane as the flight attendants assisted me at the airport. At O.R. Tambo Airport, I met the rest of the South African team, including our chaperone, Mr Nicho Swartz (Eskom Expo’s Free State Provincial Coordinator). We boarded the plane at 18:45 from O.R Tambo International Airport to Heathrow Airport (London). We arrived at Heathrow Airport at 05:00 on Saturday, 07 May 2022. We had breakfast at the ‘EL&N LONDON’ restaurant and later boarded our plane for the final leg to USA. We arrived at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta at 15:45 where we took a train to the Westin Peachtree Centre.
Sunday, 8 May 2022
Team South Africa had breakfast at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel and thereafter we walked to the Omni Hotel where the Regeneron ISEF finalists started to set up their project boards. The Broadcom Masters International Welcome Reception & Orientation took place at 16:00 – 18:00.
At this event, all the delegates and programme leaders introduced themselves and each team created a team poster. I was in the purple team with Ezzati Hanis Khairuzzaman (Malaysia), Sebastian Alexis (USA-California), André Melgarejo Grave (Mexico) and Keshvee Sekhda (USA-Georgia). The team leader of the purple team was Erin Cummins.
I attended the Regeneron ISEF Pin exchange at 19:00. During the pin exchange, I met new people from Brazil, India, Ireland, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Puerto Rico and USA. The pin exchange event ended at 22:00.
Monday, 9 May 2022
After breakfast at the Omni Hotel, we took a bus to the Georgia Institute of Technology. The first activity at Georgia Tech was to design a 3D printed luggage tag on a computer. I really enjoyed learning about 3D printing and it was great to design our own luggage tag. Thereafter we took a tour around Georgia Tech.
During the tour around Georgia Tech, we saw a lot of artwork and I found it fascinating. All the artwork had a special meaning on why it was there such as the Culture of Inclusion along the Tech Walkway which shows the diverse vibrancy amongst the students of Georgia Tech. We had lunch at Georgia Tech. The next activity dealt with coding. We had to work in pairs and I worked with Ezzati. We were guided by tutorials to create a unique pattern on the micro bit provided. Ezzati and I completed our task successfully. I really enjoyed this experience a lot.
Tuesday, 10 May 2022
At the Omni Hotel, the innovator share was between 08:25 to 09:15. In the event of the innovator share, each delegate had to talk about their innovator of choice. I got to learn about different innovators around the world.
The bus departed for the Atlanta Botanical Gardens at 09:30. We went on a tour around the Botanical Gardens where I learned about the different ecosystems of the different plants. We had a tour around the rainforest and desert ecosystems that were created within the Botanical Garden. The assignment at the Botanical Gardens was an examination of different carnivorous plants and thereafter we had to dissect a Pitcher plant.
The bus departed to the Big Kahuna at 12:15 where we had lunch and I enjoyed my tacos and lemonade. After lunch, we went to the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA). We went on a tour around the museum where we learned about sustainable engineering and the designing process.
The group assignment was to build something useful made from recycled materials. The purple team created a VR headset made from recycled materials. This activity taught me that recycled materials can be utilized for a lot of useful things. The bus departed to the Omni Hotel at 15:30.
The Alumni Reunion Event took place from 16:15 to 17:15. At this event, we spoke to former Broadcom Masters delegates that are now competing in the Regeneron ISEF. They shared their experiences of Broadcom and the Regeneron ISEF with us. It was really amazing to hear from them and they definitely inspired me to work hard so that I can also compete in Regeneron ISEF. The student mixer event was held at the Georgia World Congress Center from 19:00 to 22:00.
Wednesday, 11 May 2022
At the Convention Center, we were placed in groups of three and assigned a task known as the Broadcom Masters Bingo. The task was to find which block of information on the bingo sheet belonged to which Broadcom Alumni finalist. I saw a lot of interesting projects around the project hall while playing the Broadcom Masters Bingo. After playing the Broadcom Masters Bingo, we had lunch at the Omni Hotel. All the delegates voted for a class speaker and Ezzati Hanis Khairuzzaman from Malaysia won the vote. We walked to the Georgia Aquarium at 12:15. We had a tour around the aquarium where I learned about the different sea animals. This experience at the aquarium was one of my favourites. The tour guides showed us what they feed the sea animals and where they take the animals if they are injured. I found learning about ocean life fascinating. We walked back to the Omni Hotel at 15:15. We had a lesson on how to present an elevator speech and then we were divided into pairs to practise our speech. This time I was paired with Nyambura Sallinen from Georgia, USA. The ISEF evening event was held at the Georgia Aquarium from 18:30-21:30. We enjoyed a lovely dinner with our new friends at this event.
Thursday, 12 May 2022
After breakfast, we walked to the Mercedes Benz Stadium. We went on a tour at the stadium where the tour guides showed us around.
I enjoyed seeing the different plants such as the mint and strawberry plants that were produced in the garden of the stadium. The activity that was assigned to us was to calculate our carbon footprint. It was interesting to see our carbon footprint and to learn how we can reduce it. After the tour and activity at the Mercedes Benz Stadium, we walked back to the Omni Hotel and had lunch.
The project share took place between 12:45 and 14:00 where each delegate had to give a 3-minute elevator speech about their project and then the other delegates could ask questions. It was interesting to learn about the different projects and the inspiration behind them.
The Broadcom Master’s Programme was concluded with a recognition ceremony ‘’Circle Ceremony’’ where the delegates and team leaders reflected on their week together at Broadcom Masters International Program. There was a farewell party and talent show after the Circle Ceremony. I attended the Regeneron ISEF Special Awards at 19:00.
Friday, 13 May 2022
After breakfast at the Westin Peachtree Plaza we went to the Omni Hotel to attend the Regeneron ISEF Grand Awards. At 14:00, we went to the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to get ready for our departure. The flight from Atlanta to Heathrow, London was at 19:20.
We arrived in Heathrow, London at 08:40 on Saturday, 14 May 2022 and departed for Johannesburg only at 22:20. We arrived at the O.R Tambo International Airport at about 10:00 on Sunday, 15 May 2022.
This was really an amazing experience and I am so grateful that I could be part of it. I have learned so many things from the other delegates during the time working in a team. This experience has encouraged me to work even harder and to think broader when faced with a challenge. If I were to participate in the Regeneron ISEF, I would explore more ideas for a future project.
I would like to thank the panel for choosing me to represent South Africa at the Broadcom Masters International Programme in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. I would also like to thank the sponsors, Eskom, Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, my parents and mentors for helping me to make it possible to attend such a wonderful programme and experience in Atlanta, GA, USA.