West Coast science boffin shines at International Science Fair

All the way from the small town of Klawer in the West Coast, Patrovsky Adams from Nieuwoudt Primary School overcame all odds and impressed judges at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF) held in Gauteng, winning a gold medal and the top prize in the junior Chemistry and Biochemistry category.

Adams, who won a trophy and a cash prize, found that a mixture of furniture polish and white vinegar effectively removed fresh and old double-sided tape marks, without any glue residue or damage to the wood surfaces.

“The experiments were performed on a variety of wood surfaces and different thicknesses to ensure results that are more reliable,” said Adams.

“In each of my experiments and repetitions, there was a focus on the following: the reaction of each product with the double-sided tape, the reaction of the products with the glue and the reaction of the products with the different wood surfaces,” he added.

The science fair, held at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Boksburg, brought together the brightest young scientists from across South Africa and various countries around the world to compete for cash prizes, bursaries, laptops and international science tours.

Eskom Expo Western Cape provincial coordinator, Lyndon Manas said when Patrovsky was in grade 6, the science bug got hold of him after another learner from his school participated at the ISF.

“His project idea originated early this year when his family moved house and experienced problems with glue residue marks on the furniture. In March 2019, Patrovsky attended an Expo workshop in Moorreesburg, a rural town situated approximately 90 kilometres north of Cape Town. Then his teacher, Ms Sune Hanekom, supplied him with the material to complete his experiments,” said Manas.

“After achieving a gold medal at the West Coast regional science expo and taking part in the ISF upgrade session, he still continued to test different combination,” he added.

Adams is on track to complete schooling at Nieuwoudt Primary School, and he dreams to further his high school education at Augsburg Landbougimnasium.

Eskom Expo Executive Director, Parthy Chetty said: “It is always amazing how innovative our young learners can be, if given the right kind of stimulation and motivation. This young learner chose to pursue his passion for the sciences by conducting basic experiments at home and practising good scientific methods, to eventually develop an award winning project. He is an inspiration to all learners”.

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