It seems that Scifest Africa, South Africa’s National Science Festival held in Grahamstown every year, is really rubbing off on youth in the area.
It seems that Scifest Africa, South Africa’s National Science Festival held in Grahamstown every year, is really rubbing off on youth in the area. When a group of local school pupils went to Johannesburg earlier this month for the country's most prestigious national science competition, they returned with a collection of top honours for their projects.
On top of these, pupils from the Grahamstown region won three golds, two silvers and three bronzes at the thirty second Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair.
The much talked about “Train the honeybee: save the rhino” project by Grade 9 Kingswood College pupils Louise Poole and Jamie-Lee Y-Stone won both gold and a category award. Their innovative project aims to curb the illegal trade of rhino horn by training honey bees to detect the smell of rhino horn at different border crossings. Their project substitutes rhino horn with kudu horn in the investigations.
Caitlin Allison, a Grade 9 from the Diocesan School for Girls, won an international selection for her project named, “Anti-fouling and the marine environment”. She explored the possibilities that the paint used on boats could be toxic to marine organisms, which in turn affects the food chain.
Scifest Africa director Anja Fourie heartily congratulated all of Grahamstown's young science talent who took part in the expo, saying “We are so proud of the region and each one of the learners who went through to Johannesburg”.
The expo ran from 3-6 October in Boksburg, Johannesburg, and is primarily sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, Eskom, Intel and the University of Pretoria. With Rhodes University as one of the regional sponsors, the Eskom Expo is a prestigious science fair and it’s the only one of its kind in South Africa.
Scifest Africa is sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology and the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands. It is a project of the Grahamstown Foundation.