African Science Buskers Festival

HI All, When we were back at school there used to be a “Young Scientists” competition whereby each school sent in their best one of two science projects with an overall winner for the province and district. Somewhere along the way this all fell by the wayside. The Australian Embassy have taken it upon themselves to reintroduce this idea and, yesterday, I was invited around to the inaugural “African Science Buskers Festival”. There were representatives from over 20 schools from all around the country with an array of appropriate guests invited along to view their dissertations and help judge the best projects.

In her introduction, the Australian Ambassador (Above centre) expounded on their plans to spread this competition throughout Africa. I was very impressed with 13yr old Jan-Willem Verhoef (Left) who had been selected from top young scientists in Pretoria preparing for a similar one the Eskom are organising for South Africa. Jan is a very clever youngster who’s mom works at BMW – he has come up with an idea where elements from a lily flower can be added to certain car paints making cleaning an easier job. Jan is an extremely confident guy who laid out his top dozen or so experiments with different combinations of flower & paint.

The winner of the senior schools was Carol Van Rooyen from Queen Elizabeth (2nd left) who has used ideas from the Village in her Kumusha. They apparently use a certain rock to help with planting. So Carol has, effectively, created a “Nano Agri Fertilizer”. She told us how she has experimented with this, planting numerous seed beds and measuring the different results with her product compared to equivalent compound D fertilisers being used around the country. Carol claims that her leaf sizes had a 13cm average compared to just 9 with the commercial product. Similar increases were noted on pod sizes.  The big fertilizer companies need to talk to this young lady.

Potential manufacturers might want to send a representative along to next year’s completion. There are some clever youngsters out there with a few brilliant ideas that might change we do things a few years down the road. Ciao Mike G