Excitement as Eskom Expo International Science Fair kicks off

Boksburg, on Gauteng’s East Rand, was a hive of excitement as hundreds of young scientists from 35 regions in South Africa gathered alongside a number of international learners to compete at this year’s Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF).

A total of 253 local young scientists were joined by 17 international learners from Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Turkey and Zimbabwe from 7 to 9 December at the Birchwood Hotel’s OR Tambo Conference Centre for the first ISF since 2019.

Nthato Minyuku, Eskom Group Executive: Government and Regulatory Affairs, said: “We look forward to an exhilarating Eskom Expo International Science Fair this week, which promises to have a number of innovative research projects, including interesting and fresh looks at alternative, green energy involving solar-, hydro-electric, wave- and wind energy, which could be beneficial to the country. Eskom has been supporting the Expo for more than two decades, and we see this as an investment in our future scientists and engineers, who are being developed to not only solve the problems of the present, but of the future as well.”

The research conducted by young scientists that will be displayed at ISF provides insight into what interests the youth today; along with what is important to them, and their approach to solving problems. Some specific research trends include issues that affect learners personally and that which they are passionate about, including: studying aspects of sport to improve performance and endurance; understanding the dynamics of sport; improving the lives of pets; how to improve retention and memory at school and how to improve performance at school, especially in Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Literacy.

The 270 bright young minds taking part in this year’s ISF had earned a spot at the fair after beating the competition at a series of regional finals, and are poised to showcase their innovative projects to a panel of judges and industry experts starting today, in the hope of bagging one of the top prizes.

Prizes up for grabs include full-time and partial bursaries; cash prizes; the opportunity to attend the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar during Nobel Week; laptops; tablet computers; work-based exposure during school holidays; along with licenses to use Robot Simulation software and eLearning sponsored by Eskom, Siemens, the Soil Science Society of South Africa, the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE), the University of Pretoria, Wits University, Rhodes University, the Central University of Technology, and Festo, amongst others.

Eskom Development Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Sumaya Nassiep, said: “As the funder of the Eskom Expo, we are thrilled to see the Expo become a creator of opportunities for budding young scientists to develop and pursue their scientific interests. We encourage learners taking part this week to remain open to learning from the judges, and incorporate their input to take their research projects to new heights. The Foundation believes that investments in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI) serve as a catalyst to find lasting solutions to national challenges. Learners have used creative ways to investigate various topics, from behavioural studies to experimentation to IT, machine learning and artificial intelligence applications; as well as through applied physics and mathematics. All of which will be exhibited this week.”

Members of the public are invited to attend the ISF and see first-hand the impressive projects that these young scientists have developed. The exhibition hall is open to the public on Thursday, 8 December from 08h30 – 11h00 at the Birchwood Hotel’s OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg, Gauteng.

For the complete list of 2022 Eskom Expo International Science Fair participants, click here.

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