Early-career Scientists Of Africa To Benefit From Initiative By TWAS

CEO of Eskom urged the young scientists to take advantage of chance to learn from distinguished judges and apply criticism they received to improving their research projects.

Early-career Scientists Of Africa To Benefit From Initiative By TWAS

At the grand final of the Indonesia International Science Technology and Engineering Competition (ISTEC) in Bali, a prestigious student research competition looking to find cutting-edge solutions to global problems, a group of young scientists from South Africa will have the chance to demonstrate their scientific aptitude.

While competing at the Eskom Expo International Science Fair, the local students won the chance to present their research at the ISTEC in Bali.

From May 10 to 14, the ISTEC in Bali will feature research on a variety of topics, including how weight affects the piezoelectric output of shoe insoles and the efficacy of turning waste Styrofoam into an adhesive.

Luke Boswell: The project, “Investigating the performance and output of the Savonius, Darrieus, and Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines,” by Pearson High School student Luke Boswell, who is in Grade 9, will be presented.

Boswell built his own miniature wind turbines to test which kind of turbine generated the most power under various wind conditions. As designs are simplified to increase the efficiency of the turbines, the generation of wind turbines has changed over time. His work adds value to the South African wind farms that are already in operation.

Ndzhaka Mukela Siweya: At the Khanyisa Learning Center in Giyani, Limpopo, Grade 12 student Ndzhaka Mukela Siweya will present his research project on “Does weight affect piezoelectric output on shoe insoles.”

Siweya measured the voltage generated and the robustness of the shoe sole using three different tests. To keep the lights on, it is imperative to find a sustainable power source, which Siweya’s project did.

He created a piezoelectric shoe sole that produces enough voltage to run an LED bulb for five minutes while being efficient, straightforward, and affordable. The shoe sole may be able to run the LED light for longer with increased use.

 Zariah Parker: The research project by Star College Cape Town Grade 10 student Zariah Parker, “A solution to Styrofoam pollution: The effectiveness of turning Styrofoam waste into an adhesive,” will be presented. Parker tested various solvents to see which one produced the most effective homemade glue.

Non-biodegradable polystyrene takes up a lot of space in landfills and harms people, animals and the environment. Parker came to the conclusion that D-limonene was a better solvent by taking into account the amount of glue produced, the time it took for the glue to dry, and the strength of the glue. This quick and simple homemade glue might aid in lowering pollution from Styrofoam.

Matthew Crouch: The use of UV Light to delay ripening and prevent decay of plums is the topic of Matthew Crouch’s research project, which he completed as a Grade 10 student at Paul Roos Gimnasium in Stellenbosch. Crouch sought to delay the ripening process using Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) treatment, which lengthens the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables, as food wastage is a significant issue in South Africa.

While Crouch’s research focused on yellow plums, the majority of studies on the delayed ripening of fruits and vegetables examine more widely available produce like tomatoes. He discovered that plums that were exposed to UV-C light had fewer pathogens growing on them and less fruit that was ripening at room temperature. This is a fantastic advancement and contribution to the field.

Sumaya Nassiep, CEO of Eskom Development Foundation, urged the young scientists to take advantage of the chance to learn from distinguished judges and apply the criticism they received to improving their research projects.

“Eskom urges the active participation of young people in these fields as they are the future of the nation’s progress and prosperity,” says Nassiep. “With a keen recognition of the pivotal role of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and innovation (STEMI) in South Africa’s development.”

“We can create a brighter and more promising future for South Africa by fostering a pipeline of talented and enthusiastic scientists and innovators through Eskom Expo for Young Scientists.”