A total of 246 learners from the Bojanala region gathered at the regional finals of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists to showcase their innovative science, engineering and social investigations.
The event which was held at the Zinniaville Secondary Hall on 29 July 2022 saw 23 judges who are educators, specialists and scholars in the various competition categories and Eskom Expo enthusiasts evaluate the learners’ research, and gave scores to the 187 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 Engineering category with 65 entries. There were also a significant number of entries in Energy, Earth Sciences and Social Sciences.
Kutlwano Tshatiwa, an international gold medal-winning young scientist from the region who attended the event, said: “When I entered Eskom Expo back in 2019, I never thought that one day I would have achieved so much in Expo. I used to envy learners who won gold medals back then, and told myself that I will get there one day. I had to spend sleepless nights to learn so much about machine learning, and my hard work eventually paid off. Winning a gold medal while representing Eskom Expo and South Africa in Tunisia is a highlight in my journey as a young scientist. To all promising young scientists, irrespective of your background, you can have it all just like me; but only if you put in some effort.”
A total of 32 learners received bronze medals, while 14 received silver and 10 received gold. Learners from Field College received the most number of gold medals and medals overall.
The Eskom Special Award winners were Zuhayra Ebrahim and Zakiya Abba (Zinniaville Secondary School), Zainad Abed (Zinniaville Secondary School), Nozipho Mathebula and Lethabo Dikgale (Molebatsi High School). The winners were awarded Bluetooth headphones and trophies for their brilliant projects.
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 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 Bojanala, contact: Mmabatho Moloedi 078 491 5052.