Young scientists in the KwaZulu-Natal Far North Region embraced the chance to present their ground-breaking scientific and innovative research projects at this year’s Eskom Expo for Young Scientists regional final.
A total of 124 learners in grades 4 to 12 from the region gathered to present 87 research projects at the event held at King BhekuZulu High School on 8 August 2023. The expo was one of 38 regional expos planned across all provinces in South Africa.
This year witnessed an impressive influx of entries in the Engineering category, with 38 innovative projects submitted. Notable participation was also observed in categories such as Social Sciences, Earth Sciences and Energy.
Eskom Expo’s KwaZulu-Natal Far North Regional Science Fair Director, Silungile Sibiya, said: “Encouraging learners to engage with Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation (STEMI) from a young age lays a foundation for their future success and the country’s progress. Early exposure to STEMI by means of Eskom Expo, not only broadens horizons but also contributes to bridging the gap in STEM-related fields. With these science fairs, we aim to equip young scientists with the tools they need to excel and drive positive change in our country”.
Six 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: Maphumulo Mnikelo and Mthembu Sphokuhle from Mlokothwa High School
- Best innovation: Tawananyasha Zvomuya from Ondini High School
- Best energy project: Simesihle Khuzwayo and Elokuhle Khuzwayo from King BhekuZulu High School
- Best development project: Sokhela Baxoxele from Zwelonke High School
Furthermore, a total of 35 learners received bronze medals, 20 were awarded silver, and 10 received highly esteemed gold medals. All the gold medallists were awarded a cash prize of R200,00 each, sponsored by Africa Health Research Institute (ARHI).
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).”
Advancing learners from the region will have the opportunity to compete against the country’s most exceptional young scientists at the ISF, scheduled for October 2023. This prestigious event offers participants the chance to win prizes, bursaries, scholarships, and various other opportunities. Moreover, learners stand a chance to be selected to present their research and innovations at international science fairs held in the United States of America, Asia, Europe, and across Africa.
For dates and venues of upcoming regional science fairs, click here.