By Thabo Molekoa, Chairman&Managing Director, Siemens Energy Southern Africa (https://www.Siemens-Energy.com/)
Fostering an environment that promotes a culture of learning, exploration, and technological excellence among the youth, is the key to a more sustainable future.
From 3 – 6 October 2023, the 43rd instalment of Eskom Expo for Young Scientists was held at the Birchwood Conference Centre in Johannesburg. Each year the Expo finds the top young innovators and scientists across South Africa and Internationally, bringing these students together to compete against, and engage with, like-minded individuals on a platform that promotes innovation and scientific excellence. This year the Expo hosted 330 young scientists from 35 regions across South Africa, alongside 20 international students from 10 countries including Mexico, Namibia, Mozambique, and Turkey.
The Expo plays a pivotal role in promoting and sustaining the youth’s interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Innovation (STEMI) subjects. It provides budding scientists with the opportunity to showcase and demonstrate their problem-solving skills, innovative capabilities, and creative thinking to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. We saw students demonstrate power generation through an electrolysis system using lead pencils and water; we saw them improve the energy generation capacity of solar panels by using mirrors to direct sunrays throughout the day; as well as to identify how we can generate electricity by using the gas released from biodegradable substances. Platforms such as this also gives corporate organizations and educational institutions the opportunity to support the growth of STEMI subject skillsets and training, by providing the youth with the necessary tools to pursue scientific and engineering careers.
Siemens Energy was proud to participate as one of the main sponsors of this initiative. We sponsored students from Namibia and Mozambique to travel to South Africa and showcase their inventions. We also sponsored laptops to nine rural and underprivileged schools across the country, with two young scientists each receiving full bursaries to study engineering at a university of their choice.
The Expo was an insightful and inspiring event that demonstrated the impressive capabilities of today’s young scientists. It allowed the students to showcase their knowledge and skill, in a fun, exciting, and supportive environment.
As global economies rush to enable a shift in energy systems; we need to encourage innovation, knowledge, and continuous revolution in training and education to facilitate progress. Involving the youth in challenges like these, provides the next generation of energy professionals with opportunities to learn and lead in the energy transition.
Siemens Energy recognizes the role of the youth in tackling this problem, our Just Energy Transition Hackathon, held last year is another example of how Siemens Energy is assisting in exposing the youth to a passion for STEMI subjects and energy in an engaging and rewarding format.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Siemens Energy Southern Africa.