Two teen boys have won their place to represent South Africa at the 2019 Taiwan International Science Fair, after showcasing science projects of exceptional quality at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF).
Michael Dennis (18) from Potchefstroom Gimnasium and Christiaan Bauman (16) from Hoërskool Waterkloof were selected by a panel of academics and professionals following ISF, which was held in Gauteng in October 2018. The teens impressed judges with their ingenuity, depth of knowledge and mastery of inquiry methodology.
Dennis investigated water pollution and developed a management tool for modelling water pollution levels. High levels of phosphates in water bodies are not only toxic, but upset the delicate balance of the ecosystems. Dennis’s modelling tool will enable the management of these phosphate levels.
Bauman addressed a serious problem experienced world-wide: the lives of miners and civilians being threatened or lost in sub-terrains such as caves. A recent example is the group of 12 boys and their football coach who were trapped in a cave in Thailand. Bauman programmed and built a robot that can be sent into these subterranean spaces where it can detect life forms, map the space and provide rescuers with other critical data.
“The aim of Eskom Expo is to get learners engaged in the sciences through research. What we are seeing with these 2 young scientists is that they have taken their work to a much higher level, which is comparable to industry standards,” says Parthy Chetty, Eskom Expo Executive Director.
The Taiwan fair takes place from 28 January till 1 February in Taipei. South Africa participates in this fair as it offers learners an opportunity to present their research to their peers from other countries, while promoting cross-cultural communication and educational exchange.
“Eskom has invested in the Expo for young scientists for over two decades because we feel this is the perfect avenue to grow future scientists and engineers for the country. The projects done by these 2 young learners bears testimony to the bright future we can create for our youth and our country,” says Pieter Pretorius, Chairperson – Eskom Expo Board of Directors.