SA young scientists awarded at International science competition
2 June 2023
A group of exceptional young scientists from South Africa were awarded after successfully showcasing their scientific research at the Grand Final of the Indonesia International Science, Technology and Engineering Competition (ISTEC) in Bali.
The four learners had won the opportunity to present their research projects at the ISTEC from 10 to 14 May 2023 while competing at the Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF), which was held in December 2022.
Matthew Crouch, a Grade 10 learner at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch, was awarded a gold medal for his research project, “The use of UV Light to delay ripening and prevent decay of plums”. Crouch sought to delay the ripening process using Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) treatment, which extends the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables. “It was a good competition to work towards. I learnt so much about the different cultures in Indonesia. I’d like to encourage future young scientists to be curious about everything and not afraid to ask questions. Be passionate about what you do and look at negative results or failures as growth experiences on a journey to ultimate success,” he said.
Zariah Parker, a Grade 10 learner at Star College Cape Town, was awarded a silver medal for the research project, “A solution to Styrofoam pollution: The effectiveness of turning Styrofoam waste into an adhesive”. Parker used different solvents to test which one makes an efficient homemade glue. “Taking part in this science fair has been an amazing experience and it has granted me with many new opportunities. I had lots of fun, learnt many new things, tried new foods, met wonderful young scientists, saw amazing views and made unforgettable memories. Future young scientists should remember that science is not just a collection of facts and formulas; it is a journey of wonder, curiosity, and relentless pursuit. Embrace the beauty of the unknown, relish in the joy of discovery, and let your passion for science light your path.”
Luke Boswell, a Grade 9 learner at Pearson High School in Port Elizabeth, was awarded a gold medal and Ndzhaka Mukela Siweya, a Grade 12 learner at Khanyisa Learning Centre in Giyani, Limpopo, won a silver medal.
Sumaya Nassiep, the CEO of the Eskom Development Foundation, extended her warm congratulations to the young scientists for their remarkable achievements. “As the funder of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, we wish to recognise the dedication, passion, and hard work of the medal-winning learners. Their exceptional accomplishments at the ISTEC highlights the significance of their contributions in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and innovation (STEMI). It also emphasises the importance of the Expo nurturing a strong interest in STEMI among learners,” she said.
Registration to take part in Eskom Expo is open. Learners in Grades 4 to 12, along with learners from TVET colleges that are in NC2 to NC4 can register their projects by clicking the link: http://bit.ly/3dVnTGH