Enthusiastic young scientists seized the opportunity to exhibit their remarkable scientific and innovative research projects at this year’s regional final of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists Eden Karoo Region.
A total of 77 learners in grades 7 to 12 from the region gathered to present their research projects at the event held on 4 and 5 August 2023. The evaluation of the 45 projects on display was carried out by 23 judges, comprising educators, specialists, scholars, and avid Eskom Expo supporters.
Eskom Expo’s Eden Karoo Regional Science Fair Director, Leana Robinson said: “This was an opportunity for young scientists to show your interest in science and to be an active participant in its development. Sometimes our most seemingly insignificant ideas, when explored can be a major discovery. The Eskom Expo regional science fair aims to assist learners in this exciting process. A sincere thank you to all who assisted – volunteers who gave generously of their time, parents who provided support and resources, mentors and teachers who provided guidance and encouragement, judges who provided feedback and the Outeniqua High School for hosting the event”.
Six exceptional young scientists were awarded the prestigious Eskom Special Awards. The learners, who received Bluetooth speakers, were:
- Best female: Abigail Marais from Point High School
- Best innovation: Aeden Rischmuller from Still by the Sea
- Best energy project: Chanel Greyling and Probijot Virdee from Point High School
- Best development project: Tahlia van Merch and Chloe le Roux from Aurial College
Other special prizes awarded included:
- Best Male: Jaco Jacobs from Outeniqua High School
- Best Junior Female: Jane Solomons and Mariana Wagner from Môrester Secondary School Junior Male: Heinrich Conradie and Pieter Winterbach from Outeniqua High School
Category winners included:
- Agricultural – Abrie van Asf from Oakdale Agricultural School
- Energy – Chanel Greyling and Probijot Virdee from Point High School
- Engineering – Jaco Jacobs from Outeniqua High School
- Environmental – Tanith Smith and Juelles Eloff from Point High School
- Social Sciences – Mian Hurter from Curro Mossel Bay
A total of nine learners received bronze medals, six were awarded silver, and 17 received highly esteemed gold medals.
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.
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.