Young scientists showcase research at Cape Town regional expo

Hundreds of learners gathered at Herzlia High School in Vredehoek to showcase their science and innovation research projects for the Cape Town regional finals of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists.

A total of 230 learners from the region gathered on 11 and 12 August 2022 to display their innovative science, engineering and social investigations, while 82 judges who are educators, specialists and scholars in the various competition categories and Eskom Expo enthusiasts evaluated and gave scores to the 158 projects that were on exhibition.

This regional expo was one of 35 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 34 entries. There were also a significant number of entries in Social Sciences (33) and Biomedical and Medical Sciences (28).

Eskom Expo Regional Science Fair Director in the Cape Town region, Olga Peel, said: “After judging projects online, we welcomed back our schools for the face-to-face interviews with 10 schools out of 27 participating for the first time. The excitement of being at the physical Expo event was noticeable. The awards ceremony was attended in person by more than 350 people, while many more watched the ceremony on YouTube. The organising committee wishes to thank the participating schools, the judges, Herzlia High School and our main sponsor Eskom, and additional sponsors, Rhodes University for sponsoring full bursaries and the University of Cape Town for sponsoring a scholarship towards the cost of first year studies.”

Rhodes University awarded a full first year bursary to study towards a BSc degree to Matthew Redfern and Joseph Gibbon from Pinelands High School, while the University of Cape Town awarded a scholarship for first year studies at the university to Tasmiyah Kalla from Star College Cape Town.

A total of 86 learners received bronze medals, while 40 received silver and 36 received gold. Learners at each of our 27 schools won awards and gold medals were achieved by learners from eight schools.

The Eskom Special Award winners, who were awarded Bluetooth headsets, were:

  • Eskom Best Innovation – Oke Wagbafor and Danielle de Freitas, St Cyprians
  • Eskom Best Female – Salehah Hamied, Star College Cape Town
  • Eskom Best Development – Tabish Zaheer Mukhtar, Star College Bridgetown
  • Eskom Best Energy – Matida Chizura, International School of Cape Town.

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 Cape Town Region, contact Olga Peel: | Joanne Bottcher

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