By Emily Setona
QWAQWA – Due to their exceptional performance in the Eskom Expo for young scientists in 2022, three grade 8 girls doing their high school at Tsebo Secondary School become the first grade 8 learners to bring this prestigious competition to the school.
In their interview with The Guard Mamello Morotolo, Zanele Mthembu and Naledi Lekhoaba said that in 2022 they managed to receive gold medals for their science projects that is why this year the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists contacted them and encouraged them to participate in the competition again. Science teacher Tshidiso Rakaki said that this is the first time that grade 8 learners at Tsebo participate in this competition and as their science teacher he will motivate and encourage them to continue to do their best. “My role as the facilitating teacher is to assist the learners with getting resources and to attend the workshops during the different stages of the competition where their projects are going to be judged and the learners are given a few pointers on how to improve their projects before going to the reginal expo,” Rakaki said.
“For my project I’ve created an animal carrier because I saw that when animals in my community are sick the person who has to take them to the vet hurts them when they are not carrying them properly and the animals become restless, so my animal carrier will be a better way to deal with this challenge,” Morotolo said.
While Naledi Lekhoaba says that her project is called LN24 a unique name that she chose so that people can become curious to find out what is that? LN24 is a stove that will be using both solar energy, and electricity.
“Our community is challenged with load shedding and long periods of blackouts and sometimes households go for days without cooking. This is very bad for our health. My stove will be able to store energy so that when there is no sun or electricity the energy stored will allow people to still be able to cook for their families,” said Lekhoaba.
The issue of safety is very important to Mthembu because she says that during loadshedding there are increased incidents of crime in her community so she has decided to create streetlights that use solar power so that even when there is no electricity they can still be working.
The Bethlehem district’s regional expo project setup and award ceremony respectively will be held on the 18th and 19th of August at the at the University of the Free State Qwaqwa campus’s Mandela Hall.