When one wonders how other continents have managed to solve problems over the past decades, it is quite evident that innovations through Science and Technology made possible in improving their lives and environment. This is why such initiative has been seen as the fundamental strategy through International Science Fair (ISF) by Eskom Expo for Young Scientists.
More than 500 of Africa’s top future engineers, chemists, physicists, mathematicians and innovators competed at the country’s largest school-level science fair sponsored by state electricity company Eskom.
The Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF) brought together young scientists from South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Tanzania with a special team all the way from Mexico. Mexico came to showcase their innovative projects for a chance to win a scholarship to study in Germany, among other prizes.
This initiative has been organised by Eskom Expo for Young Scientists in its 38th ISF for learners across the globe from the 2nd to the 5th October 2018 at Birchwood Hotel & Conference Centre, east of Johannesburg.
“The (expo) creates a platform for future scientists and engineers across South Africa, to establish a base for their future careers,” its executive director Parthy Chetty said.
“The competition is a great launch-pad for motivated youngsters keen to explore these fields and change not only their circumstances but their environments for the better.”
Eskom is a State Owned Entity (SOE) that supplies energy in South Africa with the mineral resources such as coal to generate electricity for millions of South Africans and other neighboring countries. The ISF is conducted by Eskom annually to give finalists (learners) from different schools internationally, an exhibition opportunity of their projects and interviewed by the panel of judges for awards, international selection and price giving ceremony.
The Eskom Expo for Young Scientists made a selection from its previous regional science fair from different schools and chose over 1900 finalists to participate in the ISF not just to showcase their projects in an exhibition, but to stand a chance to win a share of R14 million to study in South Africa and abroad, which is partly the reason why most learners gravitate towards such initiatives.
Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr Dever Govender and the Chairman for Board of Directors Peter Pretorius, were amongst the officials who met the finalists for the official opening.
Pretorius, encouraged the budding scientists to think out of the box and to always remember that they are part of a bigger plan to change not only their communities but the whole world. “Once you join it you can’t leave it because you will always know you are making a difference”, he added.
Engineering and digital technology giant Siemens was one of the major sponsors and has committed laptops and science kits as well as three full local bursaries in addition to an opportunity for one young scientist to go through a three and a half year mechatronics or electronics apprenticeship at the Siemens Technical Academy in Berlin.
“Skills development and investing in our youth is imperative to grow innovation in Africa,” Siemens CEO for Southern and Eastern Africa Sabine Dall’Omo said.
Also sponsoring the competition was FFS, Department of Basic Education, Science and Technology, Public Enterprise, Wits University and University of Pretoria.