Young scientists impress at Eskom Expo

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A motivational pillow, alternatives to clingwrap, how correct Murphy’s Law is and were some of the intriguing titles for science projects entered in the Regional Final of the 2019 Eskom Expo for Young Scientists hosted at Rhodes University on 2 and 3 August 2019.

There was a strong element of local relevance, with several projects to either purify or save and re-use water, one to create a plastic pothole filler – and one to find the best learning style.

Some projects with particular local relevance were PJ pupils Lindokuhle Goba and Asandile Tilani’s ‘Joza’s Water Purifier’ and VGHS pupil Siposethu Mtyapi’s Water Saving Washing Machine. Several pupils from Hendrik Kanise Combined School (Sanele Nkole, Agcobile Vayo, Sanele Sinawo Mzizi, Sinovuyo Busakwe, Libhongo Jonas and Sisipho Tokota) and Kingswood College (Carla and Ryan Briston) focused on animal behaviour and health – particularly wildlife.

A total of 172 learners brought science projects to the two District Expos, and the Regional Expo held this year. The quality of the projects was higher than in previous years with learners winning a record 14 gold, 11 silver and 24 bronze medals, together with a total of 34 merit awards. The youngest learners were in Grade 4.

Makhanda schools that were particularly successful were Victoria Girls’ High School (all projects submitted received prizes, many gold), Nombulelo Senior Secondary School and Ntsika Senior Secondary School, along with Nkwanca High School from Queenstown.

The young scientists behind the top five projects received Gold Awards and Bursaries to Rhodes University. They were:

Nicola Kroese (Vegan Leather) – VGHS.

Tosca Stoloff (Cannabis – A Drug for Plants Too?) – VGHS

Carissa Henning and Jeandre van Niekerk (Maths: Trick or Treat) – PJ Olivier

Bridget Emslie (Comparison of Drinking Water Sources) – VGHS

Claude Hilpert  (Medi Bears) – PJ Olivier

Finalists who may be selected to participate in this year’s International Science Fair were Carissa Henning and Jeandre van Niekerk, Claude Hilpert (all PJ Olivier), Nicola Kroese, Bridget Emslie, Tosca Stoloff, Abongile Nokenke, Emilly van der Merwe, Iqra Hayat, Jessica Lobb, Zainab Mansoor and Wafa Rizvi (all VGHS), Nanga Madlangathi and Owethu Mandela, Sesethu Sokabo and Aviwe Mfakadolo (all Nkwanca), Anathi Antoni and Lindelihle Manyati (both Ntsika Secondary School), Carla and Ryan Briston (Kingswood).

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