In October 2018, the 38th International Science Fair (ISF) was held at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Gauteng as part of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists.

This year’s winners were…

Martina Fouché, a grade 7 learner from Lochnerhof Primary School in Stellenbosch, won the award in the junior category for her project titled ‘The starry sea stars of the intertidal rocky shore’, which was entered in the category Animal and veterinary, including maritime animals.

Tosca Stoloff, a grade 8 learner from Victoria Girls’ High School in Grahamstown, scooped a SAEON award for her project titled ‘Mytilus vs Perna: which will be the ultimate survivor?’ entered in the category Environmental Science: changes to the environment (e.g. pollution, climate change, carbon emissions and ecology). Tosca’s study was influenced by the assumption that carbonic acid creates ocean acidification from CO2 pollution.

Dani Jansen Van Rensburg, a learner from Hillcrest High School in Kwa-Zulu-Natal Central, won the third SAEON award for her project titled ‘Urth: Optimising weather data accessibility through citizen science’, entered in the category Earth Science (Geography, Geology and Oceanography) and housing and settlement, which had an emphasis on IT and engineering.

From left: Pertunia Ntswaki (DST-NRF intern at SAEON), Dr Lita Pauw (SANBI), Tosca Stoloff, Martina Fouché, Dani Jansen Van Rensburg, Kogie Govender (SAEON’s Science Engagement Coordinator) and Joe Sibiya (SAEON Science Engagement Officer)

The Eskom Expo for Young Scientists serves as a platform for and stimulus to aspiring scientists, mathematicians, engineers and innovators to showcase their acumen in science at all levels of the Science Fair. These bright young learners dream of receiving that gold medal, a special award or being selected to participate in the International Science Fair abroad.

Joe Sibiya (SAEON) and Dr Lita Pauw (South African National Biodiversity Institute – SANBI) were tasked to identify the best research projects in the category for environmental monitoring that are aligned to SAEON’s mandate and to present the SAEON Special Awards.