SA young scientists to showcase research at Tunisia science festival

Image created using AI. Marcus Moloko

Keerthana Kishor Nair, a Grade 12 learner from Bryanston High School alongside Alexia Hilton Smedmor in Grade 10 at Parktown High School for Girls will participate at I-FEST2 from 22 to 28 Mar h 2024 following their award-winning performance at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair last year.

The pair will showcase a cost-effective triage test for real-time detection of Tuberculosis and a nature-based technology that brings environmental remediation at this year’s International Festival of Engineering, Science, and Technology in Tunisia (I-FEST2).

Nair’s research project, a gold medal recipient at last year’s Eskom Expo detects Pulmonary TB, and generates instant results, which makes it more efficient than traditional TB detection methods.

The research effectively gets rid of delays as results used to take several days to produce results.

Doctors and healthcare professionals can receive results almost immediately, allowing for prompt treatment of patients.

Chief Executive Officer of the Eskom Development Foundation (Acting), Mologadi Motshele said Eskom’s commitment and contribution towards required solutions are aimed at addressing the current and future global issues.

“These are the young innovative scientists who are driven by first-hand experiences, seeking answers and solutions to the challenges that directly affect the lives of South African citizens.

“This grassroots approach to problem-solving underscores the importance of Eskom Expo as a flagship event, driving sustainability initiatives and inspiring future generations of innovators in our country.”

This was seconded by Eskom’s Expo Executive Director Parthy Chetty who acknowledged how reassured he was by the country’s STEM education initiatives which he sees Keerthan and Alexia compete.

“One of our focus areas in Eskom Expo is promoting girl participation in the sciences, and these girls have already achieved excellence in scientific research. I am sure these learners will do us proud, and more importantly, immerse themselves in the North African culture and the idyllic Mediterranean experience.”

This year’s I-FEST2 will be held in Mahdia, Tunisia, and is organized by the Tunisian Association for the Future of Science and Technology.

The program is designed to offer a one-of-a-kind, educational, and enjoyable experience, featuring a range of activities and opportunities for new discoveries. It will also include various excursions to explore the rich Tunisian culture.

Registration to take part in the Eskom Expo is open. Learners in grades 4 to 12, along with TVET college learners (NC2 to NC4) can register their research projects by visiting

Also read: Ramaphosa to deliver keynote at SIDSSA alongside delegates



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