Eskom Expo awards Mpumalanga learners

Changing the way eggs are packaged makes them less likely to break, they are healthier, and it saves transport costs and lowers the carbon footprint. This is one of the findings of an award-winning research effort which was one of some 230 such projects showcased at the provincial Mpumalanga Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, held virtually on Saturday afternoon.

The project on the proposed changes as to how eggs are packaged earned Erichsen Aage from Middelburg Primary an Eskom Award for Best Female Project – one of four such awards.

The Eskom Special Award for Best Innovation Project went to a twosome from Mashishing Secondary – Kabelo Mamiane and Shaun Makhado. They developed an ultra-secure meter box. It is secure because it cannot be tampered with, thus reducing millions of Rands of losses for Eskom and municipalities.

Other Eskom special prizes went to:

  • Best Development Project: Magagula Sphumelelo from Suikerland Secondary who developed a generator that can supply power to people where there is no grid electricity supply. It also has the advantage that it is portable and there is no need for power cords.
  • Best Energy Project: Vinette Viljoen from Laerskool Kruinpark who examined the proposition that the concentration of electrolytes in various drinks is directly proportional to the conductivity of the drink. She found that this not so.

 The participants hoped their projects would be recognised by the judges with a gold medal, one of the four Eskom Special Prizes or a coveted ticket to the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF), which will be held in October.

“Despite the pandemic which disrupted schooling, it was remarkable to witness the eagerness and commitment of learners when approaching their research,” said provincial coordinator of the Eskom Expo, Innocent Marume.

A wide range of subjects were covered, ranging from bio-medical and medical sciences to energy. Top of the list, though, was engineering.

“These projects demonstrated the kind of research approach that the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists endeavours to cultivate amongst school learners, says Cecil Ramonotsi, CEO of the Eskom Development Foundation. It is part of Eskom’s broader strategy of skills development, investing in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI) subjects at school level.

The Mpumalanga awards event is one of nine provincial affairs leading into the final Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF) which will be held on 8 October 2021. The ISF will include participants from 35 regions in South Africa and some African countries.

Now in its 41st year, the Eskom Expo is endorsed by the Department of Public Enterprises, Department of Science and Innovation, the Department of Basic Education and has also received recognition from the Presidency. It sees learners presenting their scientific research work to judges, professionals from the private sector, academics, scientists, educators, learners from other schools, parents as well as other interested members from the general community.

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