TWO pupils from the Eastern Cape shone at the recent International Sustainable World Energy Engineering Environment Project Olympiad (I-Sweeep) held in Houston, Texas.
Grahamstown’s Kelly Ann Long and Joubertina’s Kobus Strydom -- as well as KwaZulu-Natal’s Shraddha Rajcoomar – each won a bronze medal in the environmental category.
Kelly -- a Grade 10 pupil at Diocesan School for Girls -- also won the Brighten Technology Award, a special award presented by Brighten Tech Solutions, along with a cash prize of $400 (R3320). Kobus and Shraddha each won $200 (R1660).
The three pupils were sent to represent South Africa after impressing judges at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists last year where each won a gold medal. I-Sweeep was held from May 2 to 7.
Kelly’s project tested the effectiveness of specialised polymers (types of plastic) as an improved means of sealing water storage dams.
Her findings proved to be practical, environmentally friendly, cost- effective and more effective than traditionally used sealants.
For his project Kobus, a Grade 12 pupil from McLachlan High School in Joubertina, investigated the importance of safeguarding ecosystems, particularly in the Kouga region, for the survival of the Cape clawless otter as well as the natural fynbos ecosystem. He found that controlling alien fauna and flora were of critical importance to protect and maintain the natural biodiversity.
All three pupils said they had enjoyed the I-Sweeep experience, particularly because it had given them the opportunity to meet and form friendships with like-minded people from different parts of the world.
The olympiad is an annual event. This year more than 1000 participants gathered to share their ideas.