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Young female scientists excel in Beijing science competition
Author: Erika Hoffman
Published: 28/03/2019

​​​Phoebe Mgxaji has been one of four exceptional South African teen, girl scientists who participated at the 39th Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition (BYSCC) where they have exchanged innovative ideas about science and technology, under the theme 'Discovery, Innovation and Responsibility'.

The four youngsters had showcased projects of exceptional quality at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF) in October last year, and were selected by a panel of academics and professionals, after impressing judges with their ingenuity, depth of knowledge and mastery of inquiry methodology. "Their projects tackle contemporary issues in our everyday lives and they have risen to the challenge and convinced judges that they are worthy as our future leaders in the scientific fields. They have set a sterling example to the youth out there, that you can achieve anything you set your mind to," says Parthy Chetty, Eskom Expo Executive Director.

Phoebe Mgxaji, 16, till last year from Macassar Secondary School and currently in Curro Sitari, did her project about food labels. In her study she found that most of the public do not really understand or trust the information on food labels. She also came up with practical suggestions on how tuck shops at schools can make learners more aware of the nutritional value of the food they buy. On Monday March 25th, Phoebe received a third prize in her category and also 2000 RMB!

International science fairs bring together the best from participating countries. It is important for our learners to be exposed to the best from around the world, as it broadens their knowledge-base, exposes them to new ideas and different approaches to problem-solving. It is also a great way for learners to network with their counterparts from other countries. The competition held in the Huairou District in Beijing from 23 to 26 March 2019, is the second of six international tours for 2019 that our young scientists, who participated in ISF, will embark on this year. Other tours include: Taiwan in February; Kenya in April; the United States in May; Turkey in June and Sweden in December.

Carousel photo: from left to right: 

Mr Lyndon Manas, provincial coordinator for Expo in the Western Cape

Mr Alwie Lester, general manager Western Cape operating unit (WCOU)

Mrs Erika Hoffman, regional science fair director for Stellenbosch region

Ms Phoebe Mgxaji, Stellenbosch region's international participant

Mr Tony Williams, Curro schools's STEAMD manager

Ms Zoë Mgxaji, Phoebe's sister who stood in for their mother.

Mrs Nomveliso Dondashe, WCOU, manager of human resources operations