- Another South African duo in the form of Aditi Sookdhaw and Kyle Dawson has made the country proud after winning awards at the 2021 Indonesia Innovative Science Fair
- The science fair was held virtually but young scientists Sookdhaw and Dawson managed to raise the country’s flag as they claimed top accolades
- Following their displays at the event, Eskom boss Andrew Etzinger also showered the young students with praise
Two South African school children in the form of Aditi Sookdhaw and Kyle Dawson recently made Mzansi proud. The two young scientists bagged major awards for their scientific research during the 2021 Virtual Indonesia World Innovative Science Fair.
The event was held virtually but the 18-year-old Sookdhaw was recognised for her viable method to make bioplastic from avocado seed extracts while Dawson, 17, devised a prototype to trap plastics, which he tested in the Klein Jukskei River in Johannesburg.
Sookdhaw is a student at Star College in Durban and her counterpart, Dawson is enrolled with St Stithians Boys College in Jozi.
Aditi Sookdhaw and Kyle Dawson speak about their scientific innovations
“I would like to thank the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists for giving me this opportunity to achieve more than I ever anticipated. Taking part in the WISF virtual expo was different, but we were still able to present and showcase our projects to the same audience as if we were in an actual, live expo. Hopefully, in the near future, my samples will be mass-produced to replace synthetic plastics, and in future solve a worldwide problem.”
At the same time, Dawson also echoed her female counterpart’s sentiments and said he was only doing what sparked interest in him, not having an idea about his goal. He stated:
“When I started this project, I had no real goal or end vision. I was simply doing what interested me in line with my passion for the natural world. If you had told me at the beginning that I would be representing my country and then be awarded a silver award at the WISF, I simply would not have believed you. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and I am thrilled to know that I had a positive effect on the judges. The project constantly needed to be modified and updated in order to meet the criteria. This, being said, this experience is something I won't forget and it will be an achievement I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”
Eskom’s General Manager of Risk and Sustainability Andrew Etzinger has also heaped praise on the young kids. He added:
“We at Eskom are proud of their achievements and attribute it to their hard work and dedication. This also speaks to the standards at Eskom Expo, one of our flagship initiatives, which is on par with international science fairs. These are the young scientists who will be the disruptors, change agents, decision-makers, inventors and architects of a better future for all. Expanding the country’s skill base is one of the Eskom Expo’s top priorities, and Eskom relishes the opportunity to unearth promising learners and put them on the path to academic success.”
Eskom Expo executive director Parthy Chetty shares her thoughts on Mzansi learners
Chetty says Mzansi learners have set a precedent as far as innovations are concerned and expressed pride in the duo. She explained:
“Our South African learners continue to do us proud on the international stage, especially under the abnormal circumstances of disrupted schooling and lockdown challenges. Our two winners have set an example for other learners to persevere under any circumstances.”
Two junior SA scientists receive honourable mentions in high-tech Hong Kong science fair
In a related piece, Briefly News ran an article that two young South African scientists have made the country proud as they were the recipients of honourable mentions during a virtual competition.
The youngsters, Kavya Kaushik and Catherine Kies were part of a recent expo. The duo formed part and showcased their technological advancements in the 2021 Virtual Global Youth Science and Technology Bowl Science Fair in Hong Kong.
Kaushik is only 17 and Kies is 15, according to a media release sent to Briefly News, the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists silver medal winners competed virtually against top young scientists from 26 different countries.
Enjoyed our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!