More young scientists in the North West Province will be able to showcase their scientific research and innovations at Eskom Expo’s physical regional science fairs, following two years of virtual competitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eskom Expo’s North West Provincial Coordinator, Mmabatho Moloedi said: “The last two years have been quite challenging, as Eskom Expo had to execute its mandates virtually. Due to the rural nature of our province and connectivity issues experienced, a large number of learners were unable to participate in Eskom Expo during this time.”
“Most of the young scientists in the province are looking forward to the physical expos, and we will surely provide them with the platform to showcase their innovative ideas. While our events will be physical, the safety of our participants will take priority, hence we will keep pandemic protocols in place,” added Moloedi.
The regional expos will provide learners an opportunity to display 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 began the year with a series of workshops in the province to introduce and re-introduce Eskom Expo to schools; followed by research and innovation camps to guide learners through the ideation phase of research and how to write a research plan, abstract and project report. This was followed by sub-district expos where judges and mentors engaged with learners.
Moloedi said the response from schools in the province during the sub-district expos was amazing, as more than 150 schools were engaged by a team of experts on how to improve their research prior to regional expos.
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 more than 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), to be held virtually in October. Learners in the province who will compete at ISF will receive mentorship by experts from the North West University.
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|
|Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati||23 July||Vryburg High School Hall|
|Bojanala||29 July||Zinniaville Secondary School Hall|
|Ngaka Modiri Molema||5 August||Mmabatho High School Hall|
|Dr Kenneth Kaunda||12 August||Klerksdorp Ballroom Hall|
Learners in grades 4 to 12, along with learners from Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges that are in NC2 to NC4, can register and upload their own research projects by clicking here. To access resources and easy-to-use templates, click here.
For the 2022 Eskom Expo regional dates, venues and project submission deadlines, click here.