The energy category, along with engineering and biomedical sciences, emerged as the most sought-after areas of interest by young scientists who seized the opportunity to showcase their scientific and innovative research projects at this year’s regional final of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists in the Gert Sibande Region.
A total of 192 learners in grades 4 to 12 from the region gathered to present their research projects at the event held at the Sasol Recreational Club on 12 August 2023. The evaluation of the 146 projects on display was carried out by 84 judges, comprising educators, specialists, scholars, and avid Eskom Expo supporters.
Eskom Expo’s Mpumalanga Provincial Coordinator, Innocent Marume, said: “Congratulations to the young scientists for their outstanding showcase of research projects. We urge these learners to persist in their pursuit of scientific excellence and consider careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Innovation (STEMI) fields, while demonstrating the invaluable support and mentorship that Eskom Expo provides. Such guidance is pivotal in nurturing the future innovators and problem-solvers that our country needs”.
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: Hana Bhorat
- Best innovation: Ashani Fredrick
- Best energy project: Ameera Ibrahim and Zaynab Rajab
- Best development project: Kagiso Phala
Other special prizes were awarded to: Ameera Ibrahim and Zaynab Rajab (Best primary school project) and Ashani Fredrick (Best high school project).
A total of 42 learners received bronze medals, 20 were awarded silver, and 11 received highly esteemed gold medals. Notably, learners from Secunda Hoërskool 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)”.
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.