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SA youth at Intel fair



Nine South African scientists-in-the-making rubbed shoulders with more than a thousand like-minded young scientists from around the world in Pittsburgh, USA for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).

Intel’s Corporate Affairs Director, Parthy Chetty says: ‚Our own nine finalists, all between the ages of 15 and 19 from the Free State, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, have blown local judges away with their innovative projects earlier this year. And now they are off to share their solutions with the world.‚

Finalists were selected from a record 68 countries this year, and Chetty explains all of them have two things in common ‚ a curiosity for how the world works and a need to solve challenges the world or their community may be faced with.

‚When USD 3 million worth of total awards and scholarships are up for grabs learners respond with astonishing inventions, as we have seen at the South African leg of the competition,‚ he says.

‚Take the case of seventeen year old Winston Mtabela who realised during his research study that cyanide pollution as a result of mining activities in his hometown of Welkom in the Free State was essentially the reason for a waning plant growth in the area. Other projects included effective methods to sterilise bacterial-infected toothbrushes, the study of fossilisation in a calcium carbonate environment and an affordable alternative to prosthetic limbs,‚ Chetty explains.

‚For the past 15 years, Intel has been committed to the International Science and Engineering Fair because we believe in nurturing a passion for maths and science among young people. The future of innovation is in their hands, which will only benefit the global economy,‚ he says. ‚This is just one area we believe can help education in South Africa and abroad.‚

More about the projects:

Name of student



Project title

Winston Mthabela

Harmony High School

Welkom, Free State

The effect of Cyanide pollution due to slimes dams on plant growth

Vivienne Dames

Victoria Girls’ High School

Grahamstown, Eastern Cape

Biodegradation of toxic dyes

Brandon Ramnath

Christian Brothers’ College

Boksburg, Gauteng

The development of an educational board game to improve the study techniques of High School students

Saul Bloch

Herzlia High School

Cape Town, Gauteng

Evaluation and training of proprioception in male subjects aged 13 ‚ 16 years

Megan Berger

Roedean School

Parktown, Gauteng

Bones 2 stones ‚ observation on processes of fossilisation in a Calcium carbonate environment

Chene Mostert

Ladysmith High School

Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal

An effective method to annihilate

Hearn Johnson

Hoerskool Drie Riviere

Drie Riviere, Gauteng

An affordable functional prosthetic hand

Sasha Holloway

Springfield Convent School

Cape Town, Western Cape

A study of the endogenous activity rhythms of the marine isopod Exosphaeroma truncatitelson

Byron McNally

St Patrick’s College, Christian Brothers College

Kimberley, Western Cape

Shock absorber kinetic energy recovery system


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