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Aspiring Local Engineers Brings Gold From Tunisia

South Africa’s flag shone brighter at the International Festival of Engineering Science and Technology in Tunisia (I-FEST2) last week as aspiring engineers from Pinelands High School scored gold medals last week.

The success of their plastic innovative project put them in the top 10 of the in the chemistry and biochemistry category. They competed against 30 countries presenting their own starch, gelatine, and fish scale-based bioplastic idea.

“We were blown away by the level of competition at IFEST and amazed by the ideas of other finalists. I don’t think either of us really knew what to expect, but we were certainly very happy to receive a Top 10 placement,” said Matthew Redfern.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” added Joseph Gibbon. “Through all our hard work and us taking advantage of opportunities we managed to take our project international and represent South Africa. “I was also inspired by seeing all the young scientist from across the globe using their own ideas to solve global issues such as pollution,” he said.

Principal Dave Campbell said he was proud of the boys’ remarkable success and wished them well on taking their project to the next level.

“Matthew and Joseph have demonstrated the qualities that we hold dear in our school – a spirit of enquiry, tenacity and resilience, collaboration and innovation. Despite very busy lives they have shown others what is possible through determination and hard work. We thank their teachers and others who have supported them so strongly through the past months,” he said.

The project is brainchild of a Grade 11 school research that managed to grow from strength to strength, winning competitions including the 2022 Cape Town Regional and South African Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF). It prides itself for being a problem-solving initiative with a potential to make a vital environmental impact in society.

Cape Town Regional Science Fair Director, Olga Peel, said the duo were game changers and an inspiration in the engineering field.  She commended them for their hardwork and said the journey wasn’t yet over as the project need to be constantly improve in order to address societal issues.

Source : IOL