Eskom represents nine SA science boffins

first_imgAnika Meyer (F)GautengThe project aimed to determine if the roots, seeds and pollen of cycads (commonly referred to as “living fossils”because they date back to the age of dinosaurs) contain the neurotoxin methyl-amino-L-alanine (BMAA). Through aseries of tests and analyses, the investigation found the presence of this toxin in the coralloid roots, seeds andespecially the pollen of cycads may be very hazardous to our health if these are airborne inhaled over many years. Bianka Reyneke (F)Free StateThe project sought to determine whether there is a link between the visual motor abilities of learners in pre-schooland school performance later at high school, specifically in subjects like mathematics and science. The results of thestudy showed that the higher the perceptual motor abilities in learners at an earlier age, the higher the chance thatthese learners would have less difficulty with maths and science later on in their school careers. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector Lawrence John van Staden (M)KwaZulu- NatalThe project aimed to determine if a viable home-made nano-based symmetric double layer supercapacitator (SDLS)can drive an inductive load (motor) after a quick charge at a low voltage for a number of charge-discharge cycles.According to the results, the tested SDLS could drive the motor longer than the charging time for severalcharge-discharge cycles, proving the hypothesis correct. Katinka Wilkinson (F)Western CapeThe project researched the different methods of energy storage that could be used to replace a battery. A flywheelenergy storage system utilising rotational kinetic energy was identified as the most promising candidate. The prototypewas found to have relatively high efficiency. Tests showed that the device could deliver more than 80% of the storedkinetic energy into the resistor load. Reinier Scherman (M) and  Berno Myburg (M)GautengThe project aimed to address forklift manoeuvrability (in storage warehouses) through a modified drive system toincrease efficiency. A prototype drive system was developed that can not only turn on point (which is not possiblewith conventional forklift drive systems) and has the capability to change the vehicle’s position while maintaining thesame orientation. Tungsten lamp with a bokeh This month nine of South Africa’s brightest young scientists represented the country at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles, California, USA.The nine learners are top achievers handpicked by some of the country’s top industry judges and experts at the 36th annual Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF) in October last year. Read more…Eskom behind innovationAccording to the South African power utility, the young scientists competed alongside more than 1,700 learners from over 70 countries and regions for over $4 million in awards.These include scholarships, high-end laptops, 3 grand prizes of $50,000 and the top award of $75,000.Time is set aside for the learners to experience the host city for various tours and activities. As with the Eskom Expo, a significant component of the programme at Intel ISEF is social, as learners interact with each other during mixers and ceremonies.Throughout much of the week, various seminars are also held for students, mentors and teachers.Below are details of the learners and their projects: Previous articleNigeria: Lagos secures independent power plantNext articleProtected: Conference proceedings 2017: Generation Ashley TheronAshley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa. Finance and Policy Zamazimba Madi   (F)  and Jacqueline Janse van Rensburg (F)GautengThe project aimed to show the impact of high pollution levels on bacterial diversity using three dams in the Gautengregion as a testing ground. The results found that bacterial diversity in these is inversely proportional to pollutionlevels which may lead to potentially pathogenic bacteria outcompeting more benign phylotypes (an environmentalDNA sequence or group of sequences). Featured image: 123rf Name/sProvinceProject Farah  Shaik (F)KwaZulu- NatalThe project aimed to show the decreasing efficacy of sunscreen and to develop a novel product that would indicatethis using the principle of photochromism. The application of this formulation may protect individuals from the harmfulconsequences of excessive sun exposure by alerting them as the sunscreen wears off. Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA BRICS Parthy Chetty, Executive Director of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, said: “To represent South Africa on the world stage is a tremendous honour and privilege and our nine young scientists are well-deserving of this honour because they were our exceptional achievers last year.“Their projects were selected because of how internationally competitive they are, therefore there is no doubt in my mind that they will return home with top honours.”Thava Govender, Eskom Group Executive: Transmission and Acting Group Executive Sustainability & Risk, said: “Eskom is a world class energy provider and is proud to be the driving force behind the Eskom Expo for young scientists, which provides this fantastic platform for budding young scientists to thrive.“The international competitiveness of our country lies in the hands of young scientists and innovators like these delegates going to compete in Los Angeles, USA.” Read more… Generation UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon developmentlast_img