About 250 pupils from 22 schools attended this year’s FFS Expo for Young Scientist at UKZN’s Sports Centre on the Westville campus.

The purpose of the Expo is to stimulate interest in the process of scientific thought and to create an awareness of the intellectual pleasure and fulfillment that can be gained from carrying out an investigation through experimentation leading to an understanding of how things work or interact.

Youngsters got the opportunity to experience the wonder of uncovering the unknown by following a system of scientific experimentation and deduction.

The event started off with the pupils displaying their results as posters and other visually aided materials. There were three basic types of projects: (i) Collections which are arranged to illustrate a specific principle or method, (ii) Construction whereby learners display some technical knowledge and evidence of skills and (iii) Investigations which can include practical, theoretical and design studies.

The Expo started with the official opening followed by an interesting talk from Dr Corrie Schoeman on What is a scientist? Thereafter pupils were entertained by Professor Bice Martincigh, Dr Bernard Owaga and Dr Vincent Nyamori who put on an exciting Chemistry Magic Show.

A total of 41 medals were given to learners. Star College Boys’ High School and Ashton International College (Ballito) scooped 8 medals each.

The Sadha Pillay Award went to Anderson Worth from Howick High School for his project on “Tesla Coil”; Danielle du Toit from Howick High School won the Mike Laing Award for her project “Charlotte’s Web”; and Illiya Matveyuk and Joseph Grobler from Domino Servite took Gold for the Best Senior Poster for their project titled Go Eco2.

The Best Junior Poster Award went to Heinrich Marloth of Domino Servite for his project titled “Energize”, while Tristan Meyer and James Rex from Hilton College took Gold for the Best Marine project titled “Effectiveness of Shapes for Coastal Protection”, and Star College Boys’ High School took Gold for Best Junior Project by Tyrique Byroo for the project “Biogas: the fuel of the future”.

Daverin Nadesan won Gold for Best Senior Project for “The Robotic Catapult”. Mr Ugur Hulusi Patli, a teacher at Star College, said: ‘These results are the fruits of the labour undertaken by our hardworking students, their parents and our educators. The goal of our school is academic excellence by educating the stars of the future in science.’

Martincigh, who is Chairperson for FFS Expo Committee, said: ‘The Expo was a great success and it was wonderful to see such remarkable talent from the learners.  This bodes well for the future of science and technology in the country.’

author email : rajpall@ukzn.ac.za