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Young science buff ‘dashes’ to first place at US Science and Engineering Fair

Dashayin Gilbert. Picture: Curro Durbanville High School

Dashayin Gilbert. Picture: Curro Durbanville High School

Published May 23, 2022

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Western Cape science enthusiast Dashayin Gilbert, impressed judges at the world’s largest pre-college science competition; Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Atlanta, US, by winning the Third Award in the physics and astronomy category.

Formerly from Chatsworth, in KwaZulu-Natal, the Gilbert family moved to Cape Town when Dashayin was just four years old.

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The 16-year-old Grade 11 pupil, at Curro Durbanville High School, was awarded more than R16 000 for the research project titled “Formula One Aerodynamics”, and was selected to compete in the Science Fair by winning an award at the 2021 Eskom Expo for Young Scientists.

“Dash”, as he is affectionately known, combined his passion for Formula One with his problem-solving aptitude to investigate the aerodynamics of the cars used in Formula One. After investigating several variables, Gilbert made significant findings that help us understand the factors that contribute to improving the aerodynamics of Formula One cars.

Speaking about his passion and win, Dash said the Expo was a way for him to develop his knowledge about Formula One Aerodynamics, and to learn as much as he could.

“My project is based on research and comparative analysis of fluid dynamics. The main idea of my project is about financial efficiency, as the development of aerodynamics in all regions of science is extremely expensive, since either wind tunnel testing or computational fluid dynamics programs are used,” he explained.

Commenting on the programme, Eskom group executive for government and regulatory affairs Nthato Minyuku said they are proud of all the budding scientists who represented South Africa well on the global stage.

“Congratulations to Dashayin Gilbert, who performed exceptionally in an unfamiliar subject of aerodynamics and brought home this valuable award. Eskom is proud that, through the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, we provide a springboard for young scientists, who are researchers and innovators, enabling them to unleash their potential,” Minyuku added.

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Six other local pupils competed in the Regeneron ISEF: Audrey Hunn and Sarah Hackland from Protea Heights Academy, in Stellenbosch; Sachin Mohan from Horizon International High School, in Johannesburg; Michael Shepstone from Somerset College, in Stellenbosch; Kutlwano Tshatiwa from Gabonewe High School in Madikwe, Northwest; and Ra'ees De Witt from Curro Hermanus, in Stellenbosch.

Registration to take part in 2022 Eskom Expo is open. Pupils in Grades four to 12, along with pupils from TVET colleges, that are in NC2 to NC4, can register their own research projects by visiting the Eskom Expo website.

Pupils can register their projects by clicking here: http://bit.ly/3dVnTGH

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To access resources and easy-to-use templates, click here: https://bit.ly/3ctUuik

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