- Keerthana Nair is the latest Eskom Best Female Project award winner and recently chatted to Briefly News
- In an exclusive interview, Nair said she hopes to pursue a career in physics and explained her undying passion for life sciences
- The learner from Bryanston High in Johannesburg was awarded for her project in detecting malnutrition in children
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A young Keerthana Nair is the latest recipient of the Eskom Award for Best Female Project after claiming it earlier this month. Nair recently had a chat with Briefly News to speak about his massive accomplishment.
In an exclusive interview, the Bryanston High learner said she feels honoured to bag this top accolade and urged her peers to aim for big things.
Nair was recognised for her contribution in detecting malnutrition. Nair researched more on the topic and discovered that the colour of a fingernail could be an early detector – one of four such awards in the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists.
Keerthana Nair sat down with Briefly News to speak about her Eskom Award
The youngster says she took time out to do more research on the topic because of the lockdown last year. She said:
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“I feel very honoured to have this research selected as the overall best female project. It is a phenomenal experience and I'm just very grateful for Eskom Expo for providing me with such an amazing opportunity.
"Last year as the lockdown was officially into place and all the schools were shut down, the children from certain areas did not receive a complete meal. The families of these children stressed the fact that their child did not get their daily source of food.
"This problem was all over the media and the Children's Institute of SA further emphasised how our country is a victim of child malnutrition and how dependent malnutrition children are on the food they get from schools.
“This got me thinking that the families of these children won't even be able to test for malnutrition because of the greater cost. Hence I attempted to think of a cost-effective way, hoping that in the future the schools could potentially use this method of diagnosing potential malnutrition.
"Bryanston High school was very supportive and encouraging throughout. We had a very dedicated teacher who was actually watching the award ceremony and immediately congratulated me as soon as this research won the awards. My friends were also were very excited. I received a special mention from my school and I am forever grateful.”
Speaking about her message to her peers and how her family received the news, she says her best advice from family was to always look to make a difference. There’s no doubt that Nair has a bright future and she added:
“My family has provided me with the support and much-needed encouragement. The best advice I have received from my family was to never miss an opportunity like this because it doesn't come every day and to always remember that you can make a difference even if it's in the smallest way.
“I have a huge passion for Life Science and Physics. I would therefore like to pursue my tertiary education in the Biomedical field and I would like to further research on Astrophysics since I am quite fascinated by it.
"Thank you so much for this opportunity.”
Apart from Nair emerging as a winner, the Eskom Award for Best Innovation Project went to Gabby Nunes from Parktown Girls' High who found that the use of dung improved the nutrients of otherwise infertile mining soil.
She found this while looking at the way dung can best be used to grow seedlings. At the same time, Tshepo Ya Rona Secondary School’s Thato Simelane clinched the Best Development Project.
Meanwhile, Takshil Bhaga scooped the Best Energy Project. The Hoërskool Drie Riviere learner found that there are more eco-friendly ways of producing energy - through sound energy, using a transducer.
Meet Indiphile Madletyana, the young astronomer hoping to inspire SA’s youth
In a similar recent report, Briefly News published that an inspiring young astronomer and scientist is hoping to inspire the youth of Mzansi with his good work.
Speaking exclusively with Briefly News, Indiphile Madletyana is the YouTuber educating South Africa on all things space and astronomy.
The teenager says he found his passion for science and the stars following an interaction with an older community member who had been working at the South African Space Agency.
Today, Madletyana has no plans of looking back and hopes to one day see his educational videos broadcast all over the world.