2011 Eskom Expo for Young Scientists overall winner, Palesa Masuku, has been appointed a counsellor at the prestigious London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF).
In addition to being the joint winner of the Eskom Best Female Project, as part of her prize Masuku also received the opportunity to travel to the Science Forum in September 2012, which is attended annually by some of the world’s best young achievers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation.
Her school, JM Ntsime High School, situated in a rural area near Rustenberg, also won the Eskom Best Rural High School award and received a mobile science kit valued at over R25 000 in 2011.
The LIYSF is a unique event and opportunity for top young science students aged 17 to 21 years old from around the world. Since 1959, LIYSF has welcomed young scientists to come together to learn, exchange views and opinions, and share knowledge.
Students also get the chance to visit some of the world’s leading university departments and industrial sites. A key aspect of the programme is the plenary and specialist lectures hosted by some of the world’s most renowned scientists who speak on a broad range of pertinent and inspiring topics.
Masuku, who wowed the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists judges last year with her idea of using marula fruit as an alternative energy source, says she is “over the moon” and will be grabbing the opportunity with both hands.
“Right now I feel very proud, honoured and privileged to be part of something so great. I can’t wait to play an even greater part in other scientists’ lives and to help and guide them to discover their talents and exciting career paths in science,” says Masuku.
Masuku, who had never been overseas before, says London is not too different from South Africa, but the experience was great and the opportunity to learn and share ideas with young scientists from all over the world, even better.
Her role as a LIYS counsellor in 2013 will involve helping to take care of and guide other young scientists both at Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair and the London International Science Fair.
Dr Steve Lennon, Eskom Group Executive on Sustainability, says Eskom is delighted and proud to be playing a part in grooming Masuku.
“Palesa is an excellent ambassador as she is a young person who has demonstrated a consciousness of the challenges faced by the people in her community, as well as the motivation to find creative solutions to those problems. She is also committed to helping other bright science minds such as herself and we are thrilled with her accomplishments and the maturity she has displayed since we first met her.”
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