September 2023.

Congratulations to the 51 learners from across the West Coast region who have successfully been awarded as the winners in this year’s Eskom Expo for Young Scientists. The aim of the Expo is to empower learners to explore their scientific curiosity, foster innovation, and inspire them to embrace Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Innovation (STEMI) disciplines.

The programme seeks to engage young people from across South Africa in high-quality scientific research in 13 categories that cover scientific investigations, engineering projects, mathematics, computer science or social science projects. As part of the Expo, learners were expected to present their research projects to judges and the public, including teachers, peers, and interested individuals.

“By encouraging learners to pursue their interests in STEMI fields, the Expo fosters a culture of scientific inquiry and innovation. Learners gain valuable skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, creativity, and collaboration. They also have the opportunity to connect with experienced researchers, scientists, and engineers, enhancing their exposure to real-world applications of science and technology,” said one of the West Coast Science Expo Officials.

“We funded prizes for winners to encourage the next generation to become innovators, researchers and scientists, to help create a pipeline of skills across STEMI, including the renewable energy industry,” said Amber Zeeman, Community Liaison Officer for Umoya Energy Wind Farm, funders of this year’s programme.

A total of 140 Learners from 23 different schools across the entire West Coast region that covers numerous municipalities participated in this event. Learners are encouraged to explore local solutions and innovations, making them more aware of their environment’s challenges and opportunities.

Aspiring to build a pipeline of future scientists, engineers, and innovators, the Expo has already demonstrated its success. Many past participants have pursued careers in science, technology, and engineering, utilising the critical thinking skills developed through the programme.

“Today I am in my final year of my MBChB degree. I will forever be grateful for the experiences, challenges and people Eskom Expo has brought into my life. I believe that the negative outweighed the positive and students should be encouraged to participate. It has helped shape the person I am today, and the lessons I learned are still helping me in becoming the person and professional I strive to be,” said Amalia Geldenhuys, a former participant, and Vredendal High School pupil.

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