A young scientist from Cape Recife High School in Port Elizabeth has won the first prize at the 2019 Kenya Science and Engineering Fair with her project Sakha Isizwe Ngemfundo (Build the nation through early education).
The pupil, Caroline Boshoff, who is dyslexic and struggles to read and write, investigated the differences between privileged and underprivileged children during early development.
Exposcience said Boshoff’s research proved that children from an economically underprivileged environment and children with disabilities had gaps in the development of their visual perception skills and could benefit from intervention, in particular, a visual perception educational programme.
“I never expected to win. The projects were all so good and the standard was very high. I was very surprised and happy when my name was called out. To get a first position in the Behavioural Science Category was quite a surprise, but when I heard that I also received a gold medal, I thought that I was dreaming,” said Boshoff.
“The trip to Kenya was an experience of a lifetime. I enjoyed every second of it. Other than participating in the science fair, we were able to view the Menengai Crater and also visited the equator, which was very special because we learned about it in geography class.”
Exposcience said Boshoff planed to continue her Eskom Expo journey this year by finalising her teacher workbook with ideas for educational tools from recyclable material.
“Next year when I am in Grade 12, I plan a grand finale with a pre- and post-test from children of underprivileged communities after implementing all the resources that I designed,” Boshoff said.
Boshoff was joined in Kenya by fellow South African young scientists Siphesihle Sithole from Mehlokazulu High School in Pietermaritzburg; Ntendeni Nephawe from Mbilwi Secondary School in Vhembe, and Norman Mashiri from Dr Joseph Shabalala Secondary School in Ladysmith.
Parthy Chetty, Eskom Expo executive director, said: “Eskom Expo is thrilled to be able to provide learners with a platform to pursue their passion in the sciences. The success of this national initiative is evident in Caroline winning top award in Kenya. Since the beginning of the year, South Africa has participated in three international science fairs and have always come away with awards. Our learners have great potential and we need to allow them to showcase their talent not only in South Africa, but on the international stage, to prove that Eskom Expo has achieved world class standards in science and engineering.”
– African News Agency (ANA)