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 in KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast.
The regional expo, held at Brackenham Primary School on 3 August 2023, was one of 38 regional expos planned across all provinces in South Africa.
Eskom Expo’s KwaZulu-Natal North Coast Regional Science Fair Director, Nonhlanhla Buna, said: “This year, we had participants from 36 schools, 13 of which were new schools. Although the interest in participating in the regional expo improves each year, this is mostly from primary school participants. High school learners are encouraged to participate, as the expo presents an excellent opportunity for university preparation.”
“Besides the regional expo, Eskom Expo’s National Science Week (NSW) programme was concurrently conducted at John Ross College. Schools from the King Cetshwayo District were invited, and during the regional expo, NSW presentations were delivered by Charity Mapumulo, a soil scientist from the Agricultural Research Council-Natural Resources and Engineering, along with Nevana Srikissoon, a government practitioner involved in SDG-related initiatives in the eThekwini Municipality,” Buna added.
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: Ziyanda Mfeka, from Grantham Park Primary School
- Best innovation: David Murehwa from Aquadene Secondary School
- Best energy project: Andiswa Mlambo from Grantham Park Primary School
- Best development project: Sinqobile Cele from Imizikayifani Primary School
While all participants received bags and water bottles, the following young scientists were awarded trophies, which were sponsored by Africa Health Research Institute (ARHI):
- Nomvelo Muyisa and Usenakho Cebekhulu for Best Computer Science project
- Deric Murehwa for Best Engineering project
- Nomasuzi Ngubani for Best Environmental Science project
- Lindelwa Maboko for Best Plant Science project
Furthermore, a total of 39 learners received bronze medals, 22 were awarded silver, and 18 received highly esteemed gold medals. Notably, learners from Grantham Park Primary School and Aquadene Secondary School secured the highest number of gold medals, and overall medals at the event.
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.
For dates and venues of upcoming regional science fairs, click here.