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Winners of SAEON Special Awards: Eskom Expo national finals

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Daniel Louw, a Grade 11 learner at the Jan van Riebeek High School in Cape Town won the SAEON Award in the senior category for his project ‘Heartbeat of the Karoo’, as well as a gold medal in the Eskom Expo and the special award from the Grassland Society of South Africa.

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Sibongile Mokoena, SAEON’s Education Outreach Coordinator with Danielle van Wyk, a Grade 9 learner from Menlopark High School in Pretoria. Danielle won the SAEON Award for her project entitled ‘Sand Prawn as an indicator species of heavy metal pollution’, as well as a gold medal in the Eskom Expo.

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The SAEON Award in the junior category went to twins Jacqui and Lauren James, Grade 7 learners from Victoria Primary School in Grahamstown, for their project ‘An alternative way of measuring temperature – The Therorometer’.

- Sibongile Mokoena, Education Outreach Coordinator, SAEON

The SAEON Special Awards for Best Project in Environmental Monitoring were prominent again at the 2011 national finals of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists held at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg in October.

The standard of entries into the Expo was high. The projects covered a wide variety of topics with great depth, demonstrating scientific knowledge and skills. In total there were 532 projects, of which 60 were in the environmental sciences category, the largest category at the Expo.

The SAEON Award in the junior category went to twins Jacqui and Lauren James, Grade 7 learners from Victoria Primary School in Grahamstown, for their project ‘An alternative way of measuring temperature – The Therorometer’.

Danielle van Wyk, a Grade 9 learner from Menlopark High School in Pretoria won the SAEON Award for her project entitled ‘Sand Prawn as an indicator species of heavy metal pollution’.

Danielle investigated the sand prawn Callianassa kraussi population in different river mouths in the Eastern Cape. In her study she established that there were factors other than heavy metal pollution which influence the population density of the sand prawn. These include bait collecting, plastic pollution, nutrient availability, salinity, water movement and sand bank structure.

Danielle moreover won a gold medal in the Eskom Expo Awards - she was an overall winner in the environmental science and ecology (including marine ecology) section and was nominated for selection to participate in an international science fair.

Daniel Louw, a Grade 11 learner at the Jan van Riebeek High School in Cape Town won the SAEON Award in the senior category for his project ‘Heartbeat of the Karoo’. Daniel conducted an anatomical study of the springbok and investigated the historical role of the springbok in the ecology of the Karoo. Through literature search he demonstrated the spread of arid lands. The study concludes that restoration of the Karoo veld will benefit from the re-introduction of indigenous wildlife.

Daniel also won the special award from the Grassland Society of South Africa. To crown it all, he won a gold medal in the Eskom Expo and was nominated for selection to attend an international science fair.

Congratulations to all the SAEON Special Award winners. SAEON would also like to congratulate Danielle van Wyk and Daniel Louw on winning gold medals in the Expo.

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