Eskom Expo Mopani Region celebrates 30 years of developing young scientists

Eskom Expo for Young Scientists Mopani Region celebrated its 30th anniversary while hosting its regional science fair, which saw hundreds of researchers and innovators exhibit their remarkable scientific research projects.

A total of 458 learners in grades 4 to 12 from the region gathered to present their projects at the event held at the Foskor Hall in Namakgale, Phalaborwa from 17 to 18 August 2023. The evaluation of the 357 projects on display was carried out by 49 judges, comprising educators, specialists, scholars, and avid Eskom Expo supporters.

Eskom Expo’s Mopani Regional Science Fair Director, Musekwa Ratombo, said: “For three decades, the Mopani region has been a beacon of inspiration, igniting a profound interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Innovation (STEM) among the region’s budding young scientists. With unwavering dedication and a commitment to nurturing the inquisitive minds of tomorrow, Eskom Expo Mopani Region has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of scientific exploration and discovery. We look forward to many more years of fostering the growth and development of young scientists, who will undoubtedly continue to make invaluable contributions to the world of science and innovation”.

“We would also like to thank the Palaborwa Foundation for its continued support as a valued partner in the region. The foundation’s commitment to educational and scientific endeavours has not only made a significant impact on Eskom Expo, but also on the lives of countless young minds who have benefited from their generous contributions. Their dedication to fostering scientific curiosity and excellence aligns seamlessly with Eskom Expo’s vision of empowering the next generation of STEMI leaders,” Ratombo added.

This regional expo was one of 38 expos planned across all provinces in South Africa. This year witnessed an impressive influx of entries in the Engineering category, with 74 innovative projects submitted. Notable participation was also observed in categories such as Energy and Social Sciences.

At the region’s awards ceremony, four exceptional young scientists were awarded the prestigious Eskom Special Awards. The learners, who received Bluetooth speakers, were:

  • Best female: Flora Angel Moswedi from All Saints College
  • Best innovation: Rifumo Matukane from Khanyisa Education Centre
  • Best energy project: Ntokozo Nkuna from Khanyisa Education Centre
  • Best development project: Aman Pati from Kingfisher Private School

A total of 75 learners received bronze medals, 56 were awarded silver, and 38 received highly esteemed gold medals. Notably, learners from Khanyisa Education Centre received 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.

Regional science fairs that took place across South Africa.

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