Idea wins top prize

2018-10-17 06:00
Lebohang Ngake, a Gr. 10 learner, received the award for the best development project at the 2018 Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair. Photo: Supplied

Lebohang Ngake, a Gr. 10 learner, received the award for the best development project at the 2018 Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair. Photo: Supplied

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A bright idea by Lebohang Ngake to generate energy from wind blowing through the window of a moving vehicle won top prize at the 2018 Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF).

He explored the idea to generate energy from wind blowing through the window of a moving vehicle to recharge his cell phone’s battery which was about to die.

Lebohang, a Gr. 10 learner at the Setjhaba-Se-Maketse Combined School in Botshabelo, was travelling home in a taxi when he came up with the brilliant idea that won him the prestigious award.

He won a gold medal for his project and received the award for the best development project at the 38th ISF held at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Johannesburg from 2 to 5 October.

He was one of the 35 candidates representing South Africa. In total 512 finalists competed. Finalists came from countries such as Mexico, Ghana, Namibia, Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Tanzania.

These young scientists competed in the prestigious science fair with the hope of taking home a share of R10 million worth in prizes.

Lebohang showed his creativity, winning the gold prize for his invention of the Wind Window Generator. He said he investigated a way of generating energy from wind and developed a prototype that is clipped onto a window of a moving vehicle to create kinetic energy.

“The wind blowing through the window of a moving taxi made me think of a way to generate energy,” said Lebohang.

After applying his mind and exceptional scientific skills, he said he used rubbish from the dumpsite next to his shack to build a prototype.

“When the wind particles collide with the turbine, it creates kinetic energy which is converted into electrical energy by the generator. The regulator is used to regulate the power generated to charge the mobile device,” Ngake explained.

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