Excitement as Ehlanzeni young scientists showcase research

The Ehlanzeni regional finals of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists was a hive of excitement as learners gathered for the first physical science fair in the region to showcase their science and innovation research projects.

A total of 403 learners from the region met at Nelspruit Hoërskool in Mbombela on 6 August to display their innovative science, engineering and social investigations, while 53 judges who are educators, specialists and scholars in the various competition categories and Eskom Expo enthusiasts evaluated and gave scores to the 264 projects that were on exhibition.

This regional expo was one of 35 regional expos planned in all provinces across South Africa – the first Eskom Expo physical science fairs since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eskom Expo’s Mpumalanga Provincial Coordinator, Innocent Marume said: “This year, the most number of entries were seen in the Engineering category with 116 entries. There were also a significant number of entries in Social Sciences and Environmental Sciences.”

“A total of 80 learners received bronze medals, while 60 received silver and 22 received gold. Learners from Sitintile Secondary School received the trophy for best projects, there were lots of special prizes won as follows,” Marume added.

The Eskom Special Award winners, who received a Bluetooth headset each, were:

  • Best Innovation: Ann Chandy – Nelspruit Primary
  • Best Energy Project: Makano Calvin and Gama Thando
  • Best Female project: Twala Nomzamo,
  • Best Development Project: Siphosethu Mthembu and Tanele Thwala.

Regional Special Award winners:

  • Best Intermediate Project: Maziya Thandalwazi – Mbuzini Primary School
  • Best Senior Phase Project: Britalia George – Nelspruit Primary School
  • Best FET Project: Hlabelo Mpumalelo – Phuzulwazi Academy School
  • School with Best Projects: Sitintile Secondary School
  • Most Dedicated Educator/Mentor: Mrs. BS Manzini
  • Mentor Awards: Shube Bongani, Zinhle Sihlangu, and Milles Thobela

Eskom Development Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Cecil Ramonotsi, said: “As the funder of Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, it has been a welcoming return to form to be able to host a physical expo in the region this year. It was impressive how learners, especially previously disadvantaged learners and girls, were able to develop such innovative projects while still at school, giving assurance that the future is in good hands. Eskom is investing in young scientists through Eskom Expo, which forms part of a broader Eskom strategy of skills development, investing in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI) at school level.”

Nthato Minyuku, Eskom Group Executive: Government and Regulatory Affairs, said: “Eskom is committed to nurturing South Africa’s brightest young minds through regional science fairs, where they are able to present their innovations and exposed to the diversity of career opportunities in the scientific world. Eskom Expo remains one of our flagship corporate citizenship initiatives, through which we actively develop the innovation potential, presentation skills and competitive edge of our young scientists. Congratulations to all medal winners who we trust will make even greater strides at the Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF).”

Learners in the region who advance to the ISF, which will be held in December, will compete against the best performing young scientists around the country. At this prestigious 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.

For more information on the Ehlanzeni region, contact Innocent Marume: 073 305 9698

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