Young scientists awarded at Welkom Regional Expo

Young scientists in the Free State’s Welkom region have been awarded after successfully exhibiting their remarkable scientific and innovative research projects at this year’s regional final of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists.

A total of 138 learners in grades 4 to 12 from the region gathered to present their research projects at the event held on 11 and 12 August at the Central University of Technology’s Welkom Campus. The evaluation of the 115 projects on display was carried out by 38 judges, comprising educators, specialists, scholars, and avid Eskom Expo supporters.

Eskom Expo’s Welkom Regional Science Fair Director, Anina Nel, highlighted the remarkable achievements of the young scientists, saying: “Their exceptional performance at the science fair is a testament to their dedication, curiosity, and innovative thinking. It’s heartening to witness the enthusiasm and passion these young minds bring to the realm of science and technology”.

“A special word of gratitude goes out to sponsors, the Central University of Technology, Anelle Gouws Makelaars and Aquelle Viv Water, whose unwavering commitment plays a pivotal role in driving Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Innovation (STEMI) activities within the region. Their support empowers these budding scientists to explore, experiment, and push the boundaries of knowledge. Let’s continue to celebrate these young scientists’ accomplishments and nurture their potential as they embark on a journey that could one day lead to groundbreaking discoveries and advancements for the betterment of our country,” Nel added.

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

  • Best female: Karmini Visser from Welkom Gimnasium
  • Best energy project: Kganyo Makapane from Hentie Cilliers

Other special prizes were awarded, including 3D-printed trophies to senior learners and gold trophies to junior learners. The following were awarded:

  • Best Grade 4 learner: Madeleine Pretorius and Hanno van Jaarsveld from Naudeville Primary
  • Best Grade 5 learner: Leila Erasmus from Welkom Volkskool
  • Best Grade 6 learner: Karlien van Jaarsveld from Naudeville Primary School
  • Top Engineering project: Karmini Visser from Welkom Gimnasium
  • Top Energy project: Kganyo Makapane from Hentie Cilliers
  • Top Combination Type project: Nyakallo Mbongo from Welkom Gimnasium
  • Top Biomedical and Medical Sciences project: Nthabeleng Mokhathi and Rethabile Motsumi from Makeleketla Primary School
  • Top Social Sciences project: Seabi Moroe St Andrew’s Welkom

A total of 25 learners received bronze medals, 19 were awarded silver, and 17 received highly esteemed gold medals. Notably, learners from St. Andrew’s Welkom secured the highest number of gold medals, and overall medals at the event.

Eskom Expo Executive Director, Parthy Chetty, said: “Eskom Expo’s promotion of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and innovation (STEMI) at the school level is exemplified by the significant role played by this event. It not only provides a platform for talented young scientists to showcase their innovations but also exposes them to a world of exciting career opportunities in diverse scientific fields. The outstanding projects presented by learners, particularly those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and girls, serve as a beacon of hope for a promising future. Congratulations to all the well-deserved medal winners, and we extend our best wishes for even greater achievements at the upcoming Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF).”

For dates and venues of upcoming regional science fairs, click here.

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