This year’s Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF) is set to be a global showcase of talent, featuring participants from 35 regions across South Africa, alongside international learners from 10 countries.
From 3 to 6 October 2023, a total of 330 local young scientists and 20 participants from Ghana, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Indonesia and Turkey will gather at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Boksburg to present their innovative projects and vie for prestigious prizes. Having triumphed over competitors in regional finals across South Africa, these bright young minds are now eager to impress a panel of judges and industry experts for a chance to secure top honours.
A range of organisations, including Eskom, Derek Gray Trust, Siemens Energy, Innomotics, Siemens, Babcock, Soil Science Society of South Africa, South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE), South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON), the University of Pretoria, Wits University, The Suleman Bux Memorial Award, the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Ekurhuleni Drums, Trisim Logistics, RS Components and Berea Plumbers, have contributed to this year’s prizes.
The rewards include full- and partial bursaries, cash prizes, opportunities to attend the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar during Nobel Week, laptops, tablet computers, and work-based exposure during school holidays.
Title sponsor Eskom and other sponsors like Siemens Energy are generously sponsoring several bursaries for students to pursue engineering at a South African university of their choice, contingent on meeting the required criteria upon receiving their matric results. These bursaries are valued at more than R400,000 each.
Eskom Development Foundation Acting CEO, Mologadi Motshele, said: “The Eskom Development Foundation is dedicated to its corporate social investment commitment towards science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and innovation (STEMI) through its steadfast support of the Eskom Expo. This focus is underpinned by a deliberate effort to promote diversity and inclusion, with a particular emphasis on previously disadvantaged individuals, of which 255 will take part in this year’s Eskom Expo ISF. We recognise that the Eskom Expo stands as the sole national initiative of its kind, and serves as an indispensable platform to nurture and empower the next generation of innovators and scientists, making a lasting impact on the future of STEMI in South Africa”.
Eskom Expo Executive Director, Parthy Chetty, said: “The Eskom Expo ISF is the pre-eminent science fair on the continent, which has been supporting young scientists and engineers for the past 43 years. It is also the national initiative for the country delivering on a joint mandate of the Department of Basic Education and The Department of Science and Innovation. The top senior scientist and the top junior scientist will be rewarded with R75,000 and R50,000 in cash, respectively. More than 20 winning learners will also be rewarded with all expenses paid international trips to other competitions around the world.”
This year’s Eskom Expo ISF will not only be a platform for scientific innovation, but also a chance for participants to explore and learn about Johannesburg’s rich cultural and scientific heritage through guided tours of the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens, the Joburg Zoo, and the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre.
The journey to the Eskom Expo ISF began with workshops in each of the nine provinces, followed by research and innovation camps, district expos, and regional expos. This year, Eskom Expo saw a remarkable increase in the number of projects, with participation surging from 4,432 in 2022 to 7,959 in 2023. Notably, 4,950 girls and 3,009 boys actively engaged in the regional expos.
Members of the public are invited to attend the Eskom Expo ISF and see first-hand the impressive projects that these young scientists have developed. The exhibition hall is open to the public on Thursday, 5 October from 15:00 to 17:00 at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre.