Monday, 15 October 2012

Winners of Eskom Expo for Young Scientists announced

As we were very impressed with what we saw at the Northern Gauteng regional finals, we went to check out the national finalists of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, held at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Johannesburg from 4 to 6 October 2012. What we saw there was just as impressive, if not more so.

Watch this space for a few interviews and pics of some of the bright sparks we chatted to at the expo. For now, we'd like to introduce you to the winners:

This year, the overall winners were Sibongakonke Nxumalo and Snenhlanhla Sibiya from Dlangezwa High School in KwaZulu-Natal. The pair of grade 11s came up with a load shedding meter that regulates the supply of electricity in a household when the national power grid is under pressure. When the electricity supply is under pressure, the control unit (which is housed at Eskom power stations) sends a signal to the meter box to switch off everything using over 100 watts of electricity in the house.  The user will then have to unplug everything consuming large amounts of electricity and their lights will go back on.

Overall winners Sibongakonke Nxumalo and Snenhlanhla Sibiya
with Dr Steve Lennon
Group Executive (Sustainability) and Eskom Expo for Young Scientists champion

Sibongakonke Nxumalo and Snenhlanhla Sibiya were motivated to invent the load shedding meter after electricity cuts would interrupt their night study group at school.
Snenhlanhla states: “We wanted to invent something that would not only help us, but also the country because, as you know, we are facing a huge crisis with our electricity supply. We believe this project will help us learners, our community and Eskom to put an end to power cuts.”
This year 69 gold medals, 156 silver and 202 bronze medals were handed out to the most outstanding projects.
The Eskom Special Awards given out each year include the Best Development Project, Best Energy Project, Best Energy Efficiency Project, Best Female Project, and Best Rural High and Primary School Projects. They all win a laptop and the overall winner wins a trip to an international science fair related to their project and field of interest.
Nxumalo and Sibiya also won the Eskom Best Development Project Award and their school will receive a mobile science kit valued at R34 000.

The Eskom Best Energy Efficiency Project Award went to Matthew Keevy and Sonke Mkhabela from Pretoria Boys High School. The grade 11 learners designed a programme to save the electricity consumed by streetlights and lights on highways, using light and movement sensors. The team calculate that these sensors could cut energy usage by 42%.

Eskom Best Energy Efficiency Project Award winners
Matthew Keevy and Sonke Mkhabela
Sonke states: “We want to take our project further by presenting our idea and the results of our findings to the City Council and prove that grade 11s can make a difference in our country. If I win, it will prove that I am capable of becoming an engineer.”
The Eskom Best Energy Project Award was won by Tave Verhoef from Howick High School in KwaZulu-Natal for her project entitled “Maglev Train”. She looked at how Maglev trains work using the principle of magnetic polarity.

The Eskom Best Female Project Award went to grade 7 learner Iselle van den Heever from Fichardtpark Primary School in Bloemfontein. Her project looked at the how planets orbit the sun.  

Selected prize winners walked away with bursaries from some of the country’s top universities, as well as laptops, cash prizes and books.

The Supernova team would like to congratulate everyone who took part in the Expo - you are all superstar geniuses in our eyes! It gives us goosebumps to see such extraordinary talent and creativity in our school learners. Keep it up guys and girls - the future needs you!

No comments:

Post a Comment