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Young KwaZulu-Natal innovator shines at Eskom Expo

November 2023 News

A young innovator from KwaZulu-Natal has won awards at the 43rd Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF) for his research project, which uses renewable energy resources like solar and wind power as a backup power source for cell phone towers during loadshedding. John Hamilton, 12, from Khethani Christian School represented the KwaZulu-Natal Far North Region, where he was awarded the HJ van der Bijl Award presented by Teraco, which consisted of a R9000 cash prize.

“My project was inspired by seeing the negative impact on people’s lives in our community because of poor network coverage during loadshedding. Also, in summer after big storms, we often don’t have a network for many hours, sometimes even for days. I wanted to use renewable energy sources to solve an electricity problem we are experiencing,” said Hamilton, who was also awarded a Bronze medal for his research project.

“It was a very good experience to be part of the Eskom Expo ISF, and see many other interesting projects. Getting to know the kind people in my team was wonderful. The special awards evening was very nice and fun because the MC, Bunny Majaja made us feel so special. I was shocked to win as it was my first time participating at the ISF. I did not expect to receive such a huge award. I will never forget that moment,” he said. Hamilton enjoys building things with his hands using electrical parts or paper. While only in grade 6 currently, his dream is to become an electrical engineer or a maths teacher one day.

Eskom acting group executive, Natasha Sithole, said: “Being a steadfast supporter of the Eskom Expo, we were overjoyed to witness how it has evolved into a fertile ground for nurturing the aspirations of young scientists. Eskom firmly believes that investments in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI) act as the catalyst for uncovering enduring solutions to our nation’s pressing challenges. The ISF showcased youthful ingenuity, with learners exploring diverse topics ranging from behavioural studies to pioneering experiments, IT, machine learning, artificial intelligence applications, and the application of physics and mathematics.”

Eskom Expo executive director, Parthy Chetty said: “Learners like Hamilton hail from a rural part of our country that lacks the resources found in most major cities, but that did not deter him from thinking creatively and pursuing his ideas to create a prototype. The insight displayed by this learner goes beyond the school curriculum, as he had to do a lot of research on his own. This is the calibre of learners produced by the Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF), and it gives our country hope for a brighter future.”

For more information contact JeVanne Gibbs, +27 76 674 1455, jevanne @exposcience.co.za, www.exposcience.co.za




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