Young scientists convene in Johannesburg for 38th annual Eskom Expo

The four-day event brings together young bright minds from South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania and Mexico.

Tomorrow’s young scientists have gathered in Johannesburg to participate in the 38th annual Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF).

The science fair got underway at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Boksburg on Tuesday.

“More than 500 of Africa’s top future engineers, chemists, physicists, mathematicians and innovators will be competing at the country’s largest school-level science fair for a chance to take home prizes worth more than R8.5 million,” said Eskom.

The four-day event brings together young bright minds from South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania and Mexico.

The learners have earned their spot in the fair after beating the competition at a series of regional finals, and they will be poised to showcase their innovative projects to a panel of judges and industry experts in the hope of bagging one of the top prizes.

A scholarship to study in Germany sponsored by Siemens, as well as 16 full bursaries to study anywhere in South Africa from Eskom are among the prizes up for grabs.

“The Eskom Expo for Young Scientists creates a platform for future scientists and engineers across South Africa, to establish a base for their future careers. 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,” said Executive Director of the Eskom Expo, Parthy Chetty.

Chetty said the fair is an ideal catalyst for unearthing the country’s brightest young minds in mathematics and science and also opens their eyes to the various options and many exciting career opportunities available.

Siemens CEO for Southern and Eastern Africa, Sabine Dall’Omo, said skills development and investing in the youth is imperative to grow innovation in Africa.

“As a global company with a strong local presence, we are proud to contribute to the development of Africa’s next generation,” she said.

Meanwhile, Eskom’s Group Executive for Transmission and Acting Group Executive Sustainability and Risk, Thava Govender, said the expo is a demonstration of Eskom’s commitment to helping develop skilled science and engineering professionals.

“Creating skills in these fields and bridging the developmental gap between nations is a worldwide challenge and the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists is one way of attempting to do that.

“Each region needs to start at home and address this challenge in its own backyard and we are doing that while we also support other countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and Namibia. The competition is making a significant contribution to sustainable socio-economic development in Africa by empowering its children,” said Govender.

The expo, which will conclude on Friday, provides a platform for learners to increase their awareness and knowledge of the wonders of science and also hopes to broaden their scientific horizons and encourage them to pursue careers in the sciences.

Now in its 38th year, the Expo is endorsed by the Department of Public Enterprises, Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Basic Education and has also received recognition from the Presidency.