My Experience at the Eskom Expo International Science Fair
It all started with my school science project investigating hand sanitisers and hand soaps and how good they are at killing bacteria. After the school Science Expo, Eskom hosted a Regional Science Expo at UCT which I attended along with many other KS2 and KS3 students from ISCT. My project won a gold medal and was selected to go to the International Science Fair, or ISF, held in Johannesburg.
The ISF has been held every year for the past 39 years. It is where the top projects from each region or country are presented. This year, there were student projects from all 9 provinces of South Africa, as well as students from Namibia, Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, and even Mexico and Turkey. For anyone that has attended the regional expo, it was similarly structured, but just on a much bigger scale.
We flew up to Johannesburg early on Tuesday morning and set up our projects. All the projects were judged over two days, and I was interviewed and asked relevant questions about my experiment. Not everyone that visited my project was a judge: some members of the public came to look, and even some VIPs like government ministers!
The last two sessions of the week were prize-giving. There were lots of amazing prizes like bursaries and laptops and money. My project was awarded a Highly Commended status.
We arrived home at 9:30pm on Friday and were greeted with posters, balloons and cheering as we came into the arrivals hall.
For me, the best bits about ISF were making new friends from the Cape Town team and the opportunity to take my project further. However, the week was hard work and very tiring, and the food at the conference centre was terrible!
I really enjoyed going to the ISF – it was an amazing experience and if you ever get the opportunity to go, I would highly recommend it. I’ll be working even harder on my 2020 science project to try and get there again!
Words and photos by Alex