Learners who showcased their scientific research and innovations were awarded at the East London regional finals of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, which were held at the University of Fort Hare’s Bisho Campus.
A total of 78 learners from the region gathered on Saturday, 20 August 2022 to showcase their innovative science, engineering and social investigations, while 15 judges who are educators, specialists and scholars in the various competition categories and Eskom Expo enthusiasts evaluated and gave scores to the 51 projects that were on exhibition.
This year, the most number of entries were seen in the Energy category while a significant number of entries were also seen in the engineering category. A total of 10 learners received bronze medals, while five received silver and three received gold.
Eskom Expo Regional Science Fair Director in the East London region, Phumezo Kwinana, said: “Our hope is to empower these young scientists to become job creators rather than job seekers. Our endeavour at Eskom Expo for Young Scientists in partnership with the University of Fort Hare is to ensure that we create a number of “Einsteins” that will positively contribute to the South African economy.”.
The Eskom Special Award winners, which were awarded Bluetooth headsets, were:
- Best Female Project: Likhona Mqathana and Liyabona Macoli from Phandulwazi Agricultural High School;
- Best Energy Project: Somila Kope and Asakhaya Mabinala from Entilini Primary School;
- Best Innovation Project: Esona Ntloko Khulani from Commercial High School;
- Best Development Project: Vuyokazi Mafika and Lutho Norwala from Richard Varha High School
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 in December, will compete against the best performing young scientists around the country. At this prestigious event, learners stand a 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.