Thursday, 12 October 2023: Mpho Mketo, 16, a learner at Ndzondelelo High School in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), has achieved a remarkable feat at the Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF), being among the ten learners selected to receive a highly sought-after 12-month mentorship and incubation programme, generously sponsored by the Durban University of Technology.
The programme, valued at an impressive R20,000 per learner, represents a significant recognition of Mketo’s exceptional potential and the impact of his research project. His research project, titled “An Antibacterial Elucidation product: using different calyces,” stood out among the impressive array of scientific endeavours showcased at the fair, which was held at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg from 3 to 6 October 2023.
Mketo’s research project demonstrates his commitment to addressing critical challenges in the field of antibacterial products. The silver medal winner’s innovative approach, using different calyces, holds the promise of contributing to the development of effective antibacterial solutions. This recognition from the Durban University of Technology reflects his dedication to his work and the potential societal benefits his research may bring.
“I felt proud of myself for winning. I’ve put a lot of hard work and dedication into my project. It was exciting to receive those awards and represent my school on such a global stage, said Mketo.
“The biggest takeaway for me from the fair was how other pupils think. When I saw their projects at the ISF, I was moved. It was astounding to find that other brilliant minds can come up with such amazing ideas. They made me realise that there’s so much I can accomplish myself. I’ll never forget the motivation they brought into my life,” Mketo added.
Eskom Development Foundation Acting CEO, Mologadi Motshele, said: “At the Eskom Expo, young scientists are given the platform to apply their logical thinking, creativity, and innovation to address pressing problems within their communities. Eskom Development Foundation wholeheartedly provides support to these learners who are not only finding solutions but are emerging as inspirational figures among their peers. As they navigate the intricate landscape of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI), the Expo strives to ignite a lasting passion for innovation and steer them toward promising careers in these fields”.
Eskom Expo Executive Director, Parthy Chetty said: “The Eskom Expo ISF brings together the brightest minds in our country, as well as the 10 invited countries, to not only compete for amazing awards, but also to allow these young scientists to learn from each other and develop new ideas of their own. It is only when these bright young minds interact with like-minded learners, will they motivate each other and help our country develop better scientists to solve the problems of the future, which don’t yet exist.”
For the complete list of 2023 Eskom Expo International Science Fair winners, click the link: www.exposcience.co.za
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