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Young scientists jet off to the US to compete in prestigious science fair
This year nine young South African scientists will be representing the country at the prestigious Intel International Science Fair (ISEF) which takes place in Pittsburgh from 13 to 19 May.
 
The nine budding scientists were selected to represent South Africa thanks to the outstanding projects that they presented at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair in October last year.
 
The nine learners will be presenting projects on a range of topics including finding alternative methods to cure bacterial infections right through to developing new materials to protect astronauts from UV light.
 
The team of nine, together with a support team of mentors from the Eskom Expo team gathered at OR Tambo International Airport for an official send-off. There to wish them well was delegation from Eskom, The Department of Science and Technology as well as members of the Eskom Expo board and management team and family and friends.
 
They were selected from among 600 of South Africa’s future engineers, chemists, physicists, mathematicians and innovators who were competing at the Eskom Expo, the country’s largest school-level science fair, for a chance to take home prizes worth more than R4 million.
 
Intel ISEF is the largest science fair in the world and 1 800 high school students from more than 75 countries, regions, and territories are awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research at the fair and compete for US $4 million in prizes. Only the best young scientific minds are invited to compete and the winners can take home prizes of up to R900 000.
 
Thava Govender, Eskom Group Executive: Generation and Acting Group Executive: Sustainability, was at the event to wish the team well. He said: “You are heading off to compete in the World Cup of science fairs. You are going to represent South Africa and I want you to do that with pride just like any of our national teams would do. You have all worked incredibly hard to get here and you must remember that this is an incredibly exciting opportunity to learn new things, meet new people and expand your horizons. If you return with a prize that is a bonus as this is a formative experience that sets you up to achieve great things in the science fields in the future.”
 
“These learners have investigated some really interesting topics and they all did so using reliable research methodology. They represent the cream of the crop, the best young scientists we have in South Africa. The Eskom Expo is all about encouraging and motivating young people to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We hope that by attending this international science they will be motivated to take their research to the next level,” said Parthy Chetty, Executive Director of the Eskom Expo as he bid them farewell.
 
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