KZN science pupils triumph
THREE Kwazulu-natal pupils will leave their mark on the world. Their school science projects, which contribute to global development, have received international recognition.
Waheed Amanjee, Yashoda Naidoo and Dani Jansen van Rensburg took part in Eskom’s Expo for Young Scientists.
Waheed Amanjee, 16, represented South Africa at the African Science Buskers Festival in Lusaka, Zambia, last month.
Amanjee, a Grade 11 pupil at Creston College in Port Shepstone, is adept in the electrical field. The young scientist created an apparatus that can harvest electrical energy created by a person’s footsteps.
“The mechanical energy is converted into electrical energy which can be stored in a battery for later use,” said Amanjee. He said: “We have an energy problem as existing forms are not available to everyone, especially in Africa. This apparatus is affordable at $2 (about R24).”
Amanjee is to represent Africa at a science convention in Turkey, while Yashoda Naidoo of Ladysmith High is to follow her “ultimate dream” of using medicine to help others. Naidoo, 16, had to balance her Grade 11 homework and extensive scientific research in the run-up to last month’s Youth Science Creation Competition in Beijing. Naidoo attended the convention along with Dani Jansen van Rensburg, a Grade 11 Hillcrest High pupil.
For months Naidoo sought a way to dispose of expired tablets, especially aspirin and migraine pills. Through trial and error, she eventually found the pills reacted positively when planted in certain soil types.
“We often throw expired pills in the bin or down the drain, which harms the environment. I found a way tablets could be used in a compost heap and converted into plant fertiliser,” she said.
Naidoo missed the group flight and had to fly alone to the Chinese capital via Ethiopia. She said: “I had to be brave and it was worth it as the standard of science on display at the Beijing event was very high. Some pupils had possible cures for cancer. Science is the best way to approach development.”
Naidoo is determined to continue with science research and enter and attend conventions and competitions.
Jansen van Rensburg, also 16, earned her entry into the Beijing competition by creating a blood transfusion filter device allowing safer, cost-effective blood transfusions.
For exposure to the science world via the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists project, Kwazulu-natal science enthusiasts can contact the project’s regional co-ordinator, Nalini Dookie, at 031 563 5617.
Yashoda Naidoo shows how to used expired tablets for compost.
Waheed Amanjee makes electrical energy from footsteps.
Dani Jansen van Rensburg has created a blood transfusion filter.