Watching a butterfly fly past and asking herself if the grace and beauty on display was really as simple and effortless as it looked, led to Amy Pastors of Eunice Girls’ High’s inspiration of undertaking a research project into the how of the butterfly’s flying. This helped her win the Eskom Award for Best Female – one of four awards – at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists’ prizegiving.
The occasion was held virtually due to the pandemic and according to a statement this was just one of a hundred such projects showcased at the provincial Free State Eskom Expo for Young Scientists awards ceremony.
The participants hoped that their projects would be recognised by the judges with a gold medal, one of the four Eskom Special Prizes or a coveted ticket to go through to the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF), which will be held in October.
Another of these awards went to Dimpho Motsoeneng from Welkom Gimnasium for the best innovative entry. Her research project showed that carbon fibre is excellent when used in buildings: its insulation effects and its durability are as exceptional as its resistance to extreme weather conditions.
Eskom Development Foundation CEO, Cecil Ramonotsi, said all these projects demonstrated the kind of scientific research approach that the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists endeavours to cultivate among school learners.
Nicho Swartz, provincial coordinator of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, said the standard of entries was particularly high this year, despite the pandemic and the consequent disruption of regular schooling.
A wide range of categories were covered, ranging from agricultural sciences to social sciences. Top of the list, though, was the biomedical and medical sciences category. Other Eskom special prizes: Best Development project went to Robert Booysen from Kgauho Secondary in the Bloemfontein region, who presented a project on a bio-degradable plastic, and Best Energy project was awarded to Sowaibah Ali and Fatimah Anwary from Ficksburg Cs/S Secondary School, who displayed their kinetic sail generator which produces renewable energy.
A gold award went to Impaq home schooler, Relebohile Mosea from Bloemfontein, for showing that an antiviral encapsulated in a robotic capsule can be developed with features such as drug delivery, diagnostics and detection of the virus. Category winner, Helene Fourie, proved that plants can grow in oxygenand water-poor environments if certain conditions are met.