WHILE matric pupils are busy writing, too many are unsure about what they want to do when they finish school or how they’ll afford the college courses they want to take. Mzansi education is expensive . . .
But Fiona Khoza, a grade 12 pupil from Mahushe Agricultural High School in Mpumalanga, and Joshua Boa-Amponsem, a grade 12 pupil from Empangeni High School in KwaZulu-Natal, have won bursaries worth R444 000 at the 2017 Eskom International Science Fair.
These young scientists represented their schools and country at the finals, which were held in Joburg.
The aim of the science fair expo is to encourage pupils to follow careers in science, engineering, mathematics or similar technology fields.
Thava Govender, Eskom group executive for risk and sustainability, said: “In spite of whether parents have money to pay for their children’s university fees or not, initiatives like theirs can help children realise their dream of studying at university.
“The shortage of engineers and other technical experts is a major challenge in this country.”
Fiona took home one of the bursaries for her solar tracking device which follows the sun across the sky.
She made the system from different components she could find. It tracks the sun from east to west across the sky thanks to some software.
Joshua built a machine that condenses water directly from moisture in the air and stores it for use.
He wants to power the device with solar energy to make it more efficient.
Other grade 12 bursary winners were Nondumiso Mdletshe and Sindi Matlaila. Nondumiso’s project extracted energy from weeds while Sindi created a soil lamp – a lamp that heats up soil by using electricity found in the soil.