Science under the spotlight

August 05, 2019 | Boys’ College | Author: Lizelle Swanepoel

Science in itself is a hard endeavour, which requires highly conceptual thinking and hours of chipping away at a problem. Those doing it follow the noble pursuit of shifting the realm of ignorance which simply keeps on growing the more we learn and discover. Conducting scientific experiments to test new ideas, inventions or discoveries is a tireless venture, also required to be communicated to peer reviewers and the public. “Science is not finished until it is communicated”, as the saying goes, and it is this process that students are getting exposed to when participating in external science competitions. 

Science competitions are crucial in fostering the qualities valued so highly by scientists: that being analytical and innovative thinking, collaboration and science communication in particular. At the Boys' College we aim to improve students’ conceptual understanding of the hard sciences through such competitions.

On Saturday 27 July the Boys’ College Physical Science students grasped the opportunity to compete in the annual Eskom Expo for Young Scientists at the University of the Witwatersrand. Having spent a significant amount of time since the beginning of the year designing, planning and executing their own experiments under project supervision of teachers in the Physical Science department, students’ efforts eventually came to fruition and they were awarded for their contribution to the fields of physics, chemistry and engineering. Boys’ College science teachers selected twelve projects to enter into the Eskom Expo competition, of which five projects won gold medals, four projects won silver and two won bronze.

Gold medals were awarded to Samuel Taylor and Brandon Delport (group project on “Rewards effects on machine learning”), Michael Klintworth and Tyron Worth (group project on “Temperature dependence of the aerodynamics of golf balls”), Justin van Vuren and Kyle Parker (group project on “Cheap construction of a microbial fuel cell”), Miguel Luiz and Yanda Mazantsana (group project on “A portable UV water filtration system for rural bicycles”) and Ben Linde (individual engineering project on “Building an electromagnetic pulse generator to test on and insulate drones from its harmful effects”).

Silver medals were awarded to Daniel da Fonseca and Simon Massey (group project on “Constructing a thermoelectric torch”), Declan Louw and Jordan Carr (group project on “Soundproofing on a budget”), Colin Saad and Devon Wright (group project on “Constructing a digital gaming enclosure”) and Connor Young and Christiaan Richards (group project on “Lichtenburg figures: the Geometry of Nature”).

Bronze was awarded to Aiden Stevens (individual project on “Construction of a unit for self-charging electric cars”) and Daniel Schmidt (individual project on “The process of flocculation”).

Certificates of participation were awarded to James Carter and Mihir Haripersad for their group project on “Harnessing energy by use of pool filters”

We are very proud of the boys achievements and we wish those selected for further participation all the best at the International Science Fair in October.