Two promising young scientists from Riverlea High School in Johannesburg have garnered recognition and honors at the Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF). Their research project, centered on the development of an automated watering system designed for water conservation, earned them a well-deserved place in the spotlight.
Riverlea Youth Honored for Water Conservation Research at Eskom Expo
Bronze Medal Achievement
Zané Brown and Romé Harris, the dynamic duo, secured a bronze medal for their research project at the prestigious fair. Their approach was nothing short of innovative, involving the implementation of an automated watering system equipped with real-time monitoring capabilities.
This system precisely regulated the water supply to ensure plants received the ideal level of moisture while minimizing water consumption.
They further integrated this model into the Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE), enabling continuous soil moisture monitoring and providing timely feedback on soil dryness to indicate the need for watering.
Inspiration from Botanical Gardens
The duo’s journey began with a visit to the Botanical Gardens plant nursery, where their curiosity about plants led to the discovery of challenges faced by the nursery.
This revelation spurred them to delve into the disadvantages, concerns, and the need for improvements in plant care, ultimately inspiring their groundbreaking idea.
Recognition and Awards
At the ISF, Siemens Pty Ltd awarded R150,000 worth of mobile projectors, to be shared among the best-performing previously disadvantaged schools across South Africa, along with individual certificates for the accomplished learners. Siemens:
Innomotics also contributed R150,000 worth of laptops to learners from previously disadvantaged schools, including the Riverlea High School scholars.
They represented the Eskom Expo Ekurhuleni region, where they initially showcased their research during the regional competition.
Influential Teacher Guidance
The vital role played by their teacher in shaping the project’s development was acknowledged by Zané Brown and Romé Harris
. His dedication, passion for science, mathematics, technology, and innovation not only inspired them but also fueled their curiosity and instilled the value of hard work.
As a qualified chemical engineer, his guidance motivated the students to engage in extensive research and exploration.
A Moment of Recognition
The moment of recognition at the awards ceremony was an exciting and nerve-wracking one for the scholars. Being acknowledged for their hard work was a rewarding experience that left them feeling capable and encouraged to continue their scientific pursuits.
Support from Eskom and the Expo
Eskom Development Foundation Acting CEO, Mologadi Motshele, emphasized the importance of nurturing young scientists and providing them with a platform to address real-world problems through logical thinking, creativity, and innovation.
The Expo aspires to kindle a lasting passion for science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and innovation (STEMI) and guide students toward promising careers in these fields.
Eskom Expo Executive Director, Parthy Chetty, expressed their satisfaction in providing a unique platform for learners to start their scientific journey at the school level, progress through various competition stages, and reach the pinnacle of the International Science Fair.
She also highlighted how Zané and Romé’s solution for water conservation could serve as inspiration for more girls to pursue careers in technology.