Hundreds of young scientists gather at the University of Johannesburg Soweto campus to exhibit their science projects at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG –The Eskom Expo for Young Scientists said on Tuesday this year has seen a surge in research projects in the energy category, with pupils aiming to find alternative solutions to power South Africa.

“It is quite inspiring to see that our pupils are fully aware of the challenges we face as a country and have taken the initiative to formulate solutions to these problems themselves,” Gauteng provincial co-ordinator Raven Motsewabangwe said.

The expo said pupils looked at cow dung as a source of electricity, creating light with bioluminescence, extracting heat from a compost pile, as well as self-generating hydroelectric power systems as alternate means of energy.

More than 300 pupils from the Gauteng region showcased about 200 innovative science and engineering investigations at the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ’s) Soweto Campus.

The Eskom Special Award winners for the best female project were Waseela Qureshi and Rooman Qureshi from Nizamiye School Mayfair.

The best energy project was won by Feza Ijaz and Warda Ijaz from Nizamiye School Mayfair, the best developmental project went to Eric Motsoahae from Horizon International High School and best innovation project went to Viresh Soogreem from Shree Bharat Sharda Mandir School.

"A total of 67 learners received bronze medals, 31 received silver and 18 received gold. Learners from Nizamiye School in Mayfair received the most medals overall," the Eskom expo said.

"A total of 15 projects will be chosen to represent the region at the International Science Fair (ISF) in Boksburg, Gauteng, in September."

Prizes include bursaries worth R5 million and a R1 million Siemens scholarship to Germany. International tours to America, Asia, Europe and the rest of Africa were also possible.

Eskom Expo executive director Parthy Chetty said the organisation was expanding across the country to include more schools each year.

“Eskom Expo continues to build on the legacy of the founder, the late Dr Derek Gray, to provide a non-racial platform for the thousands of bright young minds in our country, to showcase their talent,” he said.

“It is fast becoming the only catalyst in the school system to prepare our youth for the 4th industrial revolution (4IR).”

Gauteng schools were invited to take part in the Johannesburg Regional Expo, which will take place at Wits University on Saturday, 27 July.

"Since 1980, the Eskom Expo has been cultivating a passion for the sciences in young people, giving participants a fun and exciting way to explore science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI)," Chetty said.

African News Agency (ANA)