Outeniqua learner showcases research at Taiwan international science fair
21 Febraury 2023
Jaco Jacobs, a Grade 12 learner at Outeniqua High School in George presented his science project at the 2023 Taiwan International Science Fair this week after impressing at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF) this past December.
Jacobs won a gold medal at the ISF with his research project, “Automated inflation and pressure regulation for recreational and professional cyclists”. His research found that for competitive cyclists, as well as amateurs, deflated or over-inflated tyres has always been problematic and more importantly, a safety hazard.
The learner’s fourth prototype 3D-printed design automatically adjusts the tyre pressure while moving. Using an air release valve that is designed to work with a servo motor, the prototype has a mountable housing for the electronics. Jacobs wrote the code that enables the device to manage incoming data such as low pressure and adjust the tyre pressure accordingly. He now has a fifth prototype with a higher capacity and has also found a creative and more efficient way to house the device on the cycle. Using this prototype, cyclists can also adjust the tyre pressure as the terrain of the track they are using changes.
Eskom Development Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Sumaya Nassiep, said it was vital for our homegrown talent to compete in international science fairs where they can interact with likeminded peers who are knowledgeable and skilled in engineering and innovation. “This is to create awareness of the global youth innovation space and its trends, as well as to encourage networking and collaborations at an international level.”