More than 600 of the South Africa’s best young scientists have been unearthed following months of regional expos, and will be showcasing their scientific brilliance at the 39th annual Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF).
The fair will be held at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Boksburg from 24 to 27 September 2019, and will not only bring together the brightest young scientists from across South Africa, but also friends from Namibia, Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mexico, Turkey and Uganda.
Following months of science expos in 35 regions around the country, the engineering and energy categories proved to be the most popular amongst young scientists, with pupils aiming to find alternative solutions to power South Africa.
Pupils looked into generating electricity using carbon dioxide in water; using methane gas from cow manure as renewable energy and self-generating hydroelectric power systems as alternate means of energy, amongst others.
Eskom Expo Executive Director, Parthy Chetty says: “At a time when the buzz words across the world and in South Africa are 4th Industrial Revolution or 4IR, Expo for young scientists is the only national initiative that provides a platform for the young scientists and innovators to really engage in this phenomenon. They are given the opportunity to take charge of their lives and future careers doing Expo activities, while at the same time, may unearth ground breaking inventions or innovations.”
Eskom has been the title sponsor for several years, as the state-owned enterprise remains invested in developing a passion for science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI), and giving a platform for these future problem-solvers to take their scientific hobbies to the next level.
Eskom General Manager of Risk and Sustainability, Andrew Etzinger said Eskom aims to invest in the development of young scientists and engineers to help develop solutions to problems that will allow our country to grow in a sustainable way.
“Eskom Expo cultivates the young minds that are being responsive and taking action against current and future issues. These promising young scientists are developing solutions to problems faced, not just locally, but globally. This ground-breaking initiative undertakes to continue displaying skills in creating excitement for science through research-based projects, while encouraging more learners to take up science-orientated subjects and careers” said Etzinger.
This year’s prizes at the ISF amount to R9 million, and includes: cash prizes; bursaries sponsored by Eskom, Wits University, the University of Pretoria, Siemens and Babcock; science kits for schools; along with laptops and tablets for pupils.
One of the sponsors, engineering and digital technology giant Siemens, has committed an incredible opportunity for one young scientists to go through a three-and-a-half year mechatronics or electronics apprenticeship at the Siemens Technical Academy in Berlin.
Brad Spies from Port Elizabeth, the 2018 Siemens winner at the ISF was awarded a full scholarship to study in Berlin, Germany and will intern at a Siemens facility. Upon his return to South-Africa, Brad will have an opportunity to join the Siemens workforce.
The public is invited to attend the Eskom Expo and see first-hand the impressive projects that these young South Africans have developed. The exhibition hall will be open to the public on 26 September 2019 from 1.30pm to 5pm at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre.
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