Research projects in the engineering, energy, environmental studies and social sciences categories dominated at the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati regional finals of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists held at the Vryburg High School Hall.
A total of 189 learners from the region gathered to showcase their investigations at the event on 23 July, while 12 judges who are educators, specialists and scholars in the various competition categories and Eskom Expo enthusiasts evaluated and gave scores to the 124 projects that were on exhibition.
This regional expo was one of 35 regional expos planned in all provinces across South Africa – the first Eskom Expo physical science fairs since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the most number of entries were seen in the Engineering category with 49 entries. There were also a significant number of entries in Energy, Environmental Studies and Social Sciences.
Mr Philip Mensah, a teacher from Sacred Heart Combined commented on the successful running of the 2022 regional expo. He said: “All the schools that participated appreciate the effort Eskom Expo has invested in this competition right from the onset to avoid the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In my view and considering the number of projects registered by all the respective schools, this year Eskom Expo has exceeded our expectation.”
A total of 43 learners received bronze medals, while 25 received silver and 13 received gold. Learners from Gabobidiwe Secondary School received the most number of gold medals and medals overall.
The Eskom Special Award winners were Farhana Aziz (Kismet Combined), Masego Kgopodimetse (Kismet Combined), Uyanda Bonyane (Sacred Heart Combined), Neo Mawela and Kgaotsang Diphephenyane (Gabobidiwe Secondary). The winners were awarded Bluetooth headphones for their brilliant projects.
Eskom Development Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Cecil Ramonotsi, said: “As the funder of Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, it has been a welcoming return to form to be able to host a physical expo in the region this year. It was impressive how learners, especially previously disadvantaged learners and girls, were able to develop such innovative projects while still at school, giving assurance that the future is in good hands. Eskom is investing in young scientists through Eskom Expo, which forms part of a broader Eskom strategy of skills development, investing in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI) at school level.”
Nthato Minyuku, Eskom Group Executive: Government and Regulatory Affairs, said: “Eskom is committed to nurturing South Africa’s brightest young minds through regional science fairs, where they are able to present their innovations and exposed to the diversity of career opportunities in the scientific world. Eskom Expo remains one of our flagship corporate citizenship initiatives, through which we actively develop the innovation potential, presentation skills and competitive edge of our young scientists. Congratulations to all medal winners who we trust will make even greater strides at the Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF).”
Learners in the region who advance to the ISF, which will be held virtually in October, will compete against the best performing young scientists around the country. At this prestigious event, learners chance to win prizes and bursaries, along with scholarships and various opportunities. Learners also stand a chance to be selected to showcase their research or innovation in an international science fair in the United States of America, Asia, Europe and the rest of Africa.
For more information on the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati, contact: Mmabatho Moloedi 078 491 5052.