Young scientists exhibited their scientific and innovative research projects at this year’s regional final of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists in the Cape Town Region.
A total of 318 learners in grades 4 to 12 from the region gathered to present their research projects at the event held at the University of Cape Town’s Sports Centre from 21 to 23 August 2023. The evaluation of the 218 projects on display was carried out by 97 judges, comprising educators, specialists, scholars, avid Eskom Expo supporters and Expo Alumni.
Eskom Expo’s Cape Town Regional Science Fair Director, Olga Peel, said: “This year was Cape Town Expo’s 40th anniversary, where we celebrated longstanding member, Ivan James’s 40 years of service to Cape Town Expo. We also celebrated being back at the University of Cape Town, and had many sponsored prizes from the University College of Dublin and Rhodes University”.
“In total, there were 72 special awards which celebrated the excellent standard of the research projects submitted this year. Special awards of note included the Rhodes University bursary, which was awarded to Cate Lea and Erin Meyer from Herschel Girls School,” Peel said.
Laptops were awarded to two top learners: Saleha Hamied from Star College Cape Town High School and Neha Ambekar from International School of Cape Town; while tablet computers were awarded to five learners, including: Jarto Grobler from Durbanville Primary School, Liam Baruch from Herzlia School, Adam Nagia from Mitchells Plain High School, along with Leah Napolean and Samilen Lawrence from Kalksteenfontein Primary School.
The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Club school with the most entries was Square Hill Primary School. This award allows 150 learners to come to the Cape Town Science Centre for free, as part of a single school visit. Meanwhile, two teachers won the High School and Primary School Teacher of the Year awards, as nominated by their learners. The winners were Ms. Nenze from Wallacedene High School and Ms. F. Solomons from Norma Road Primary School.
Seven exceptional young scientists were awarded the prestigious Eskom Special Awards. The learners, who received Bluetooth speakers, were:
- Best female: Cate Lea and Erin Meyer (Herschel Girls School)
- Best innovation: Lilly Zetler and Jessica Carrol (Herzlia High School)
- Best energy project: Zachary Gibbon and Muzzamil Solomon (Wynberg Boys’ High School)
- Best development project: Saleha Hamied (Star College Cape Town)
Furthermore, a total of 71 learners received bronze medals, 91 were awarded silver, and 32 received highly esteemed gold medals.
Eskom Expo Executive Director, Parthy Chetty, said: “Eskom Expo contributes to the overarching strategy to foster skills development, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and innovation (STEMI) at the school level, finds its cornerstone in the event we are here to commemorate. This event not only provides a platform for gifted young scientists to exhibit their cutting-edge innovations but also exposes them to a realm of captivating career prospects in diverse scientific fields. The impressive projects showcased by learners, particularly those who have triumphed over previously disadvantaged backgrounds and girls, serve as a testament to the boundless potential of our future. We extend heartfelt congratulations to all the medal winners and offer our sincerest wishes for even greater achievements at the much-anticipated 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.