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Scientists awarded at Hong Kong hi-tech science fair

Nicolaas Moolman. Image: Supplied

Nicolaas Moolman. Image: Supplied

Published Jun 20, 2022

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Two young scientists captivated judges and bagged awards in their respective categories at a hi-tech science fair in Hong Kong, China.

Jaco Jacobs, a Grade 12 learner at Outeniqua Hoërskool in George, Western Cape, and Nicolaas Moolman, a Grade 12 learner at Hoërskool Volksrust in Volksrust, Mpumalanga, captivated judges with their research at the 2022 Global Youth Science and Technology Bowl Science Fair, each bagging awards in their respective categories.

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The fair was an online international student science project competition in biology, chemistry, physics and engineering in Hong Kong from June 10 to 12.

Jaco Jacobs. Image: Supplied

Jaco, who investigated automated inflation and pressure regulation for recreational and professional cyclists, received a gold award in the physics and engineering category. The 17-year-old said he was excited to have won the award, and that it was a long journey.

“I feel very excited to have won the award. It has been a long journey, and I am very happy that I have made it this far,” he said.

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“It was interesting and challenging to participate in the fair, especially as it is a global event. I enjoyed the process of getting ready for the expo, as well as all the challenges on the way. I definitely enjoyed meeting and seeing people from around the world, and learning from them, as well as hearing about their projects and ideas.”

Nicolaas, who investigated whether invasive plants could be used to prevent microbial spoilage of fresh food products, was awarded second prize in the biochemistry and chemistry category. The 18-year-old said he was grateful for his achievement.

“I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate and be rewarded for all the hard work,” he said.

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“What I enjoyed most was the project exchange, during which we had time to meet other participants and talk about our projects on the Gather platform. I enjoyed looking at what other participants did in their projects, and learnt some new concepts and approaches in solving new problems.”

The Eskom Development Foundation chief executive, Cecil Ramonotsi, said the foundation remained committed to investing in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI), particularly for the young people of South Africa.

“The Eskom Expo for Young Scientists is one of the many vehicles under the Eskom Development Foundation that enables us to do this, and we are proud to have made a meaningful contribution to this programme,” Ramonotsi, said.

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