Eskom Expo for Young Scientists in the Free State will host a number of regional science fairs around the province to showcase the scientific brilliance of the province’s promising young scientists.
The regional expos will be the first physical science fairs since 2019, where learners will have a chance to show and discuss their own scientific investigations in different fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with judges, teachers and students from other schools, parents and with other interested people.
Eskom Expo’s Free State Provincial Coordinator, Nicho Swartz said the road to this year’s regional finals began with a series of workshops in the province, followed by research an innovation camps and then district expos where learners received valuable input from a team of experts to improve their research, prior to regional expos.
“Eskom Expo started the process of developing young scientists in the province by guiding them through the ideation phase of research, as well as assisting them on how to write a research plan, abstract and project report, along with how to identify potential ethics violations,” said Swartz.
“The last two years have been quite challenging, as Eskom Expo had to execute its mandates virtually as a result of the pandemic, so it’s a welcoming return to form to be able to host physical expos this year, where pandemic protocols will remain in place,” he added.
Swartz confirmed that 3D printed trophies, additional special prizes for medallists and laptops will be awarded at this year’s competition.
Eskom Development Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Cecil Ramonotsi, said: “As the funder of Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, the biggest science fair on the African continent, moulding young scientists, especially previously disadvantaged learners and girls, remains vital in readying them to fulfil essential roles in the various fields of science.”
“The regional science expos not only provide opportunities to celebrate our future scientists and showcase their talent, but also to inspire more young learners to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” added Ramonotsi.
Nthato Minyuku, Eskom Group Executive: Government and Regulatory Affairs, said: “Eskom Expo has for more than 40 years sought to cultivate an interest in the sciences in young people, and through strategic support from Eskom, was able to provide a platform for future young scientists and engineers to be developed from school-level. The regional expos provide a platform where learners are able to exhibit their research and innovations, which aim to address not only challenges in their communities, but globally”.
With about 500 projects to be showcased in the province this year, young scientists will compete for a much sought after opportunity to represent their regions and province at the Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF), which will be held virtually in October.
At the prestigious ISF event, learners stand a chance to win prizes and bursaries, along with scholarships and various opportunities. Learners also stand a chance to be selected to showcase their research or innovation in an international science fair in the United States of America, Asia, Europe and the rest of Africa.
Regional expos will be held as follows:
|Region||Project set-up||Awards ceremony||Venue|
|Bloemfontein||28 July||30 July||Central University of Technology, Boet Troskie Hall|
|Welkom||5 August||6 August||Central University of Technology|
|Bethlehem||12 August||13 August||University of the Free State’s QwaQwa Campus|