Waterberg Regional Expo recognises outstanding young scientists

Young scientists took centre stage at this year’s regional leg of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists in Limpopo’s Waterberg region where they unveiled their findings and insights into a diverse range of scientific disciplines.

A total of 159 learners in grades 4 to 12 from the region gathered to present their research projects at the event held at the EMPC Hall in Mahwereleng, Mokopane from 15 to 17 August 2023. The evaluation of the 148 projects on display was carried out by 34 judges, comprising educators, specialists, scholars, and avid Eskom Expo supporters.

Eskom Expo’s Waterberg Regional Science Fair Director, Johannes Dibata Lephondo congratulated all the young scientists who participated in this year’s regional science fair, saying: “It was truly inspiring to see such dedication and enthusiasm for science and research among our youth. It is of utmost importance that we continue to encourage more learners to take an interest in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI) education. These fields hold the keys to solving some of our country’s most pressing challenges, and our future depends on a new generation of STEMI professionals”.

This regional expo was one of 38 regional expos planned across all provinces in South Africa. This year witnessed an impressive influx of entries in the Engineering category, with 33 innovative projects submitted. Notable participation was also observed in categories such as Energy and Social Sciences.

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

  • Best female: Thulare Karabo and Thulare Welmina from Mabalane Seleka Technical
  • Best innovation: Machaka Kholofelo from DG Tsebe Secondary School
  • Best energy project: Sengwane Kegorapetso and Baloyi Mantome from Maope Secondary School
  • Best development project: Malatji Thabang from Ramogabudi Secondary School

A total of 38 learners received bronze medals, 12 were awarded silver, and six received highly esteemed gold medals. Notably, learners from Magope Secondary School secured the highest number of gold medals, and overall medals at the event.

Eskom Expo Executive Director, Parthy Chetty, emphasised the need to nurture young scientists through the Eskom Expo. “The event forms a vital part of South Africa’s broader strategy to invest in skills development, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and innovation (STEMI) at the school level, while providing a platform for talented young scientists to present their innovations and gain exposure to exciting career opportunities in diverse scientific fields. The impressive projects showcased by learners, particularly those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and girls, highlight a promising future ahead. Congratulations to all the medal winners, and best wishes for even greater accomplishments at the upcoming Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF),” he said.

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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