Upasana Ramphal, SANTHE Masters trainee based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, put her scientific skills to excellent use on August 18 and 19, judging entries at the 2017 Eskom Expo for Young Scientists and Engineers, Central KZN Regional Expo, held at the Durban University of Technology.
The Eskom Expo is an exposition, or science fair, which gives South African scholars a chance to showcase their projects featuring their own scientific investigations. At the Expo, students can discuss their work with judges, teachers and students from other schools, parents, and other interested parties. By participating, the youngsters increase their awareness of the wonders of science, add to their knowledge and broaden their scientific horizons. Eskom Expo’s mission is, “to develop young scientists who are able to identify a problem, analyse information, find solutions and communicate findings effectively”.
The judging of the competition is based on: the value of the project, including its originality, scientific value and command of the scientific investigation; the written communication of the project, in the form of a poster, report and journal; and oral communication.
Ramphal said, “This was such a lovely experience. These young individuals are extremely innovative. They show so much creativity in their ideas and thought processes. They possess a completely different, yet positive approach which is extremely humbling. The experience has taught me humility as a scientist and to remain humble throughout my personal and academic development."
"I would encourage my peers to volunteer as judges next year. The interaction with the participants and seeing their determination is extremely motivational."
When asked if there might be an aspiring SANTHE trainee in the mix, she said, "Most definitely! The level of talent exhibited at the expo was beyond expectation. These individuals are extremely talented and creative."