It is called the Solar Pathway Energy Enhancer and could be a boost for renewable energy use as it can make more power available at a lower cost. Shone Nyamanda from Zeerust Combined School found that solar energy efficiency can be doubled with this approach, assisting poor communities particularly. Shone won an Eskom Award for Best Energy Project in the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists North West province finals.
Another Eskom Award for Best Innovation Project went to went to Kutlwano Tshatiwa from Gabonewe High School who found a way to use machine learning for early and accurate diagnosis from radiographic data.
“These projects demonstrate 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.
Other Eskom special awards:
- Best Female Project: Awarded to the twosome Lesedi Masike and Mwanza Ng’anda from the High School for Girls in Potchefstroom who developed a multi-layered handkerchief to more effectively control a cough or sneeze to prevent transmission of the Corona virus.
- Best Development Project: Awarded to Paballo Sebopelo from Mmabatho High School who analyzed how the socio-economic characteristics of primary school teachers in North-West contribute to their Covid-19 risks.
The standard of entries was particularly high this year, said provincial coordinator of the Eskom Expo, Mmabatho Moloedi. The COVID-19 pandemic did not stop school learners from entering excellent research projects for the country’s oldest and most prestigious science fair. A wide range of subjects were covered, from environmental science to social sciences, with engineering at the top of the list.
There were 111 projects entered that were showcased at the provincial North-West Eskom Expo for Young Scientists.
The North-West awards event was the penultimate of nine provincial events leading into the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF), which will be held on 8 October. 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.
Watch the awards ceremony here.