South Africa’s promising young scientists have been awarded at the 2020 Eskom Expo virtual awards ceremony, after impressing judges with their exceptional scientific research investigations and engineering designs.
The virtual event was live streamed via the Eskom Expo YouTube channel, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to the mandatory cancellation of Eskom Expo’s premiere events.
The top junior scientist, wining a laptop, was Thea-Mari Roos, a Grade 9 pupil at Hoërmeisieskool Bloemhof in Stellenbosch, whose project was aimed at addressing the practical concepts of a digital calculator.
Thea-Mari investigated how a number on a keyboard is translated on an electronic circuit, and developed a model that imitated the electronic calculations successfully.
Zandré Marx, a Grade 9 pupil at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch, whose project “Electricity generated by soil” uses the ability of bacteria in soil to generate electricity through a microbial fuel cell.
Following various experiments, Zandré found most of the bio-available additives he used, resulted in an increased output when compared to the soil where nothing was added.
Zandré was also awarded the first prize special award for innovation in environmental engineering, a prize of R7 000, by the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE).
Eskom general manager of risk and sustainability, Andrew Etzinger said: “Eskom commends all entrants, and the winners in particular, for persevering under trying circumstances to deliver exceptional entries for this year’s competition.
“Furthermore we thank the organisers and volunteers for their tireless efforts to make the expo a success once more”.
Top-performing pupils who submitted their research in the Eskom Expo online assessments, were awarded prizes in the form of bursaries and scholarships sponsored by the University of Pretoria and the Wits University to study toward degrees and courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and other prizes.