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Young scientist earns trip to US

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Kimberley Girls’ High Grade 8 pupil Chaylin Myburgh, 14, believes that her research on solar energy can provide a solution to enable consumers to continue with household activities during load shedding.

Chaylin Myburgh, a Grade 8 learner at Kimberley Girls’ High. Picture: Soraya Crowie

KIMBERLEY Girls’ High Grade 8 pupil Chaylin Myburgh, 14, believes that her research on solar energy can provide a solution to enable consumers to continue with household activities during load shedding.

Chaylin was the only pupil from the Northern Cape who was selected to attend the Broadcom Masters International Programme in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States of America.

She was part of a group of seven of the country’s most innovative young scientists that attended the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) and the Broadcom Masters International Programme from May 7 to 13.

Chaylin was chosen to present her project on solar water heaters that she manufactured mostly from recycled materials to other finalists after entering her project at the Eskom expo.

Eskom group executive for Government and Regulatory Affairs Nthato Minyuku said that Chaylin was selected on the basis of her individual development and leadership.

“Her project can potentially be used to design new solar water heaters,” said Minyuku.

“Eskom, being the funder of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, which is the largest science fair in South Africa, is proud to be driving a national initiative that is cultivating young scientists.

Chaylin explained that an aluminium can proved to be the best conductor of solar energy.

“I compared it to steel, a silicon bottle and a glass jar that I left in the sun for about four hours. Aluminium cans allowed the water to be heated the fastest with the temperature reaching 76 degrees Celsius in winter. The water stayed warm for about two hours. The water can be used for bathing, cooking and cleaning during load shedding.”

She said her itinerary to Atlanta included a visit to the botanical gardens, aquarium, Museum of Design Atlanta and Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“We dissected a carnivorous plant, worked on coding designs, experienced how sea animals’ jaws differ to eat different foods and visited a gigantic eco-friendly greenhouse. It was an exhilarating experience to travel to the USA as it was my first trip overseas and to meet young scientists from all over the world.”

Chaylin, who has maintained her place in the top 10 of her class from Grade 4-7, said maths, science and accounting are her favourite subjects.

“I would like to further my studies in the engineering sciences when I complete my schooling and would like to study overseas. My parents are also good at mathematics and science and my brother is also interested in maths, science and reading.”

She said that she dedicated between two to three hours per day to her studies, while she also plays the saxophone, piano and recorder and does ballet in her spare time.

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