Tamzhin Valentine, 13, from Spurwing Primary School in Cape Town is South Africa’s Broadcom MASTERS candidate this year.
Valentine represented the Stellenbosch region in Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF) last year, where she showcased her scientific research on creating awareness of vitiligo, a skin condition where patches of skin are characterised by a loss of pigmentation.
While living with vitiligo, Valentine said: “I conducted an interview with a skincare therapist asking relevant questions to find out more about vitiligo and what treatments are available to treat this condition”.
Valentine also surveyed learners at her school and people in her community to gather information on the awareness levels of people about this condition.
“The information gathered from the survey was an indication of how many people knew about vitiligo, and could be used to create further awareness and educate other people about this condition,” she said.
Valentine, who aspires to be a dermatologist, hopes to one day formulate a substance that stimulates the release of pigments in areas of the body that it’s not found.
Eskom Expo Academic Director, Dr Krishnie Naidoo said Valentine was selected by Eskom Expo judges to participate in the Broadcom MASTERS leadership programme because of the confidence, eloquence and enthusiasm she displayed during her interviews at ISF.
“Tamzhin was also chosen above many other juniors because of the way she communicated her research to the judges. Her explanations were clear, concise and logical, showing a level of maturity above her contemporaries. Most striking was the passion and zeal she showed for her area of research,” said Dr Naidoo.
This year’s Broadcom MASTERS, which was supposed to have taken place in the USA in May, had to be adapted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, an in-person programme was held, featuring interviews with international delegates.
View highlights of last year’s Broadcom MASTERS programme, which included Eskom Expo junior winner Damian van der Merwe, here.