Young scientists shine at Stellenbosch regional expo

Budding researchers shined at the Stellenbosch regional finals of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists while displaying their science and innovation research projects.

A total of 256 learners from the region gathered at the Paul Roos Gymnasium on 4 and 5 August 2022 to showcase their innovative science, engineering and social investigations, while 56 judges who are educators, specialists and scholars in the various competition categories and Eskom Expo enthusiasts evaluated and gave scores to the 194 projects that were on exhibition.

This regional expo was one of 35 regional expos planned in all provinces across South Africa – the first Eskom Expo physical science fairs since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the most number of entries were seen in the Social Sciences category with 41 entries. There were also a significant number of entries in Biomedical and Medical Sciences, as well as Engineering.

Eskom Expo Regional Science Fair Director in the Stellenbosch region, Mada du Toit, said: “The success of the expo is a result of very hard work from everybody involved, from the learners to the teachers. Together, we all celebrate the teaching and learning of science as well as technology, specially our youth, the future of our country. A special thank you to Dashayin Gilbert and Ra’ees De Witt, the two Regeneron finalists, who addressed the learners at the awards ceremony.”

A total of 69 learners received bronze medals, while 71 received silver and 44 received gold. Learners from Curro Durbanville received the most number of gold medals.

The Eskom Special Award winners at the event were:

  • Vera van der Merwe from Bloemhof Hoër Meisieskool (Best Female project)
  • Ben van der Westhuizen and Sebastian van der Wolf from Curro Durbanville (Best Energy project)
  • Tyla Shepstone from Somerset College (Best Innovation project)
  • Connor Jonkers from Spurwing Primary School (Best Development project)

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.

For more information on the Stellenbosch region, contact Danélle Kietzman:

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