BFN schools give their all in Eskom Expo

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LEE KHOTLELE

Bloemfontein – Competition is intense at the Eskom Expo regional finals, as the schools in the Motheo district look to impress the judges with their various science projects to claim a place in the International Science Fair in October.

The event is held the University of the Free State’s Callie Human Hall and has catered for learners from Grade 5-12.

The three-day event began with the prejudging session on Thursday, where the judges got an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the projects in absence of the learners.

Friday was the open day, where various schools in and around Bloemfontein were invited to view various projects and also be inspired, because the mission of this expo is to inspire young minds.

The expo is also about mastering the scientific method to solve a problem of any kind that learners come across.

Willem du Buisson, the director of Motheo (Bloemfontein) Regional Science Fair said that this event helps the learners think creatively and analytically.

“We did this because we want to expose the kids to science because most children are afraid of it. Some children do not know anything about it, so we want them to go out with confidence,” Du Buisson said.

“The expos show the kids that science is actually fun, but in the process, breaking mental barrier that science is difficult. The moment they have broken that, the sky is the limit."

About 322 innovative projects from 440 learners have entered the regional finals, and apart from quality, du Buisson says the children must be able to sell their projects to the judges.

“Passion and perseverance are very important. The children must convince the judges that what they have is scientifically sound and it’s not somebody else’s work, but an original project.”

Bloemfontein region has a proud history of having at least 70-80 percent of the project taking part in the nationals eventually medals, and Du Buisson says the region wants to protect that.

“We have about 32 projects that we could send to the Science Fair. However, we have to make sure we send quality,” Du Buisson said.

The primary schools will be judged from 2-5pm, followed by the high schools from 5-8pm.

“Tomorrow, the hall (Callie Human) will still be open for the public, from 7:30-10am. From there, we break the projects and the prize giving will start at 10:30.”

“We’ll also be announcing a group of learners who will represent us at the Science Fair to take place in Johannesburg in October,” Du Buisson concluded.