Young scientists awarded for scientific brilliance at Northern KZN Regional Expo

Young scientists were awarded after exhibiting their remarkable scientific and innovative research projects at this year’s regional final of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists in the Northern KwaZulu-Natal Region.

A notable turnout of 250 learners in grades 4 to 12 from the region gathered to present their research projects at the event held at the Richview Civic Hall in Newcastle on 28 July 2023. The evaluation of the 219 projects on display was carried out by 38 judges, comprising educators, specialists, scholars, and avid Eskom Expo supporters.

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

  • Best female: Lephundi Ntuli and Sibusisiwe Ntuli from Ladysmith Secondary School
  • Best innovation: Kaveer Singh from Newcastle High School
  • Best energy project: Tinashe Sumaili from Newcastle High School
  • Best development project: Nomvelo Cele and Zwelile Mpondo from Amagwane High School

Lephundi Ntuli and Sibusiswe Ntuli from Ladysmith Secondary School were honoured with the coveted “Best Overall Project” award at the science fair for their group project. Their exceptional work earned them an Apple iPad, generously sponsored by Standard Bank. Additionally, Lennoxton Primary School was awarded for being the school with the largest number of entries, winning themselves a R1,500 meal voucher from McDonald’s Newcastle.

A total of 23 learners received bronze medals, 37 were awarded silver, and 22 received highly esteemed gold medals. Notably, learners from St Dominic’s Newcastle secured the highest number of gold medals, and overall medals at the event.

Regional Science Fair Director, Manuel Govender, commended all learners on their enthusiasm and thanked them for participating and making the day a success.  He also praised the learners from Quintile 1 and 2 schools for their efforts and asked that the learners and teachers go back and encourage greater participation from their neighbouring schools. “The participation of girl learners was something to be proud of as well, venturing into the Engineering and Technology categories in their numbers,” he said.

This regional science fair was one of 38 regional expos planned across all provinces in South Africa. This year witnessed an impressive influx of entries in the Social Sciences category, with 40 projects, and the Engineering category, with 62 projects submitted. Furthermore, notable participation was observed in categories such as Energy and Medical Sciences.

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.

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

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