Two young South African female scientists have received honourable mentions after showcasing their technological advancements in the 2021 Virtual Global Youth Science and Technology Bowl (GYSTB) Science Fair in Hong Kong.
The 17-year-old Kavya Kaushik a Grade 11 learner at Bryanston High School in Johannesburg and Catherine Kies, a Grade 10 learner at Hoër Meisieskool Bloemhof in Stellenbosch competed virtually against top young scientists from 26 different countries in the highly competitive science fair.
Kaushik had developed a machine learning model that accurately detects and classifies cardiac arrhythmia beats. This is a critical field of research in artificial intelligence that will assist healthcare workers with making a quick and accurate diagnosis of the type of cardiac arrhythmia.
Kies on the other hand had developed a hand prosthesis that is operated via the myoelectric impulses from a person’s arm. This entails moving one’s arm, and the exact movement is replicated by a mechanical claw. Kies also used various methods and materials to develop the hand prosthesis with remarkable accuracy.
The duo was guided by academic staff from the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, as well as specialist mentors in the respective fields before participating in the virtual fair.
Eskom General Manager of Risk and Sustainability, Andrew Etzinger congratulated the duo on their performance at the fair, indicating that results from receiving an honourable mention are quite beneficial, as our local learners proved that girl scientists are influencers in more ways than we realise.
” They influence not only other girls but generations to follow. Often their perspectives of science, that is the study of the natural world, include a sense of humanity that is greatly needed,” Etzinger.
According to, Etzinger one of the reasons why the Eskom Expo is a leading programme for the power utility is because it aims to invest in the development of young scientists and engineers.
Picture: Twitter/ @Exposcience