Stellenbosch young scientists awarded at Eskom Expo regional science fair

A remarkable display of scientific skill unfolded in the Stellenbosch region, where young scientists eagerly grasped the opportunity to present their ingenious research endeavours at the annual regional culmination of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists.

A total of 302 learners in grades 4 to 12 from the region gathered to present their research projects at Paul Roos Gymnasium on 10 and 11 August 2023. The evaluation of the 223 projects on display was carried out by 70 judges, comprising educators, specialists, scholars, and avid Eskom Expo supporters.

Eskom Expo’s Stellenbosch Regional Science Fair Director, Toinette Horn, said the vision of the expo is not only to inspire young scientists but also to stimulate their interest in STEMI education by giving them an opportunity to think beyond the day-to-day learning in the classroom. “Learners should take full advantage of this opportunity to meet other outstanding learners and to interact with judges and the public.  It is a great place to learn about the many different areas of science. Your time at the regional expo can fill you with new ideas, insights and inspiration that will stay with you and help you long after the event is over”.

“Thank you to every participant who presented their research projects, along with judges who evaluated the projects on display; teachers, parents and mentors who have supported and guided these exhibitors on their research journey; and the regional organising committee for their efforts to make this event possible. A special thank you goes to all our sponsors and donors – your contributions made this event possible and you have helped to create an opportunity for learners to develop skills and make memories which they will surely treasure for a long time,” added Horn.

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

  • Best female: Jessica Visser (Protea Heights Academy)
  • Best innovation: Ethan Higham (Curro Hermanus)
  • Best energy project: Francis Lukusa Tshizubu (Parow High School)
  • Best development project: Lesedi Nonyana (Masibambane Secondary School)

Other special prizes were awarded to category winners by the University of Stellenbosch to:

School Participant(s) Grade Special prize
Hermanus Hoërskool Alisa Davel 8 Best Junior in Agricultural Sciences
Paul Roos Gimnasium Finn Gretschel 9 Best Junior in Animal Sciences
Bloemhof Hoër Meisieskool Mari du Plessis 9 Best Junior in Biomedical and Medical Sciences
Curro Durbanville Alice Venter 10 Best Senior in biomedical and medical sciences
Malibu Secondary School Storme Mulder 8 Best Junior in Chemistry and Biochemistry
Spark Blue Downs High Gordon Zac Daniels 8 Best Junior in Chemistry and Biochemistry
Paul Roos Gimnasium

Steffan Thielen

Rohan van Loggerenberg

11 Best Senior in Computer sciences and software development
Bloemhof Hoër Meisieskool Margot Jerman 9 Best Junior in Earth Sciences
Curro Durbanville Leila Allie-Reid 11 Best Senior in Earth Sciences
Paul Roos Gimnasium Josh Edward Venter 9 Best Junior in Energy
Parow Hoërskool Francis Lukusa Tshizubu 11 Best Senior in Energy
Spurwing Primary School Mujaahid Abdullah Gaidien 7 Best Junior in Engineering
Protea Heights Academy Jessica Visser 10 Best Senior in Engineering
Paul Roos Gimnasium Andreas Venter 9 Best Junior in Environmental Studies
Curro Durbanville Gayathri Haneesh 10 Best Senior in Environmental Studies
Paul Roos Gimnasium Julen Prinsloo 9 Best Junior in Mathematics
Curro Durbanville Kieran Muller 10 Best Senior in Mathematics
Rhenish Primary Demira Ramjugernath 7 Best Junior in Physics, Astronomy & Space Sciences
Curro Durbanville Louis Donaggi 11 Best Senior in Physics, Astronomy & Space Sciences
Lochnerhof Laerskool

Nicholas Dempsey

Aleksander Wehmeyer

7 Best Junior in Plant Sciences
Qhayiya Secondary School Nondumiso Dyosiba 11 Best Senior in Plant Sciences
Bloemhof Hoër Meisieskool Isabel Lutz 9 Best Junior in Social Sciences
Parow Hoërskool Jamia Solomons 11 Best Senior in Social Sciences

A total of 48 learners received bronze medals, 49 were awarded silver, and 41 received highly esteemed gold medals.

Eskom Expo Executive Director, Parthy Chetty, said: “Eskom Expo’s promotion of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and innovation (STEMI) at the school level is exemplified by the significant role played by this event. It not only provides a platform for talented young scientists to showcase their innovations but also exposes them to a world of exciting career opportunities in diverse scientific fields. The outstanding projects presented by learners, particularly those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and girls, serve as a beacon of hope for a promising future. Congratulations to all the well-deserved medal winners, and we extend our best wishes for even greater achievements at the upcoming 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.

For dates and venues of upcoming regional science fairs, click here.

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