Science smarts nurtured

2017-10-04 06:02
Arsheen Ahmed of Welkom-Gimnasium at the presentation of her project at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists.Photo: Supplied

Arsheen Ahmed of Welkom-Gimnasium at the presentation of her project at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists.Photo: Supplied

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The initial discoveries made by an aspiring scientist, who is investigating the healing properties of snake venom in the search for finding a cure for cancer, have caused quite a stir.

Arsheen Ahmed, a Gr. 12 learner at Welkom-Gimnasium, demonstrated her research skill through the presentation of her project at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists.

The expo was held recently at the Welkom campus of the Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State.

The matric learner had judges speaking animatedly of her potential.

“Snake venom as a cure for cancer? This is something different and generally not something you would expect,” said Edrich Schmidt, judge and teacher at the Welkom High School.

This is the fourth year Arsheen has participated in the expo.

Her research was found to suggest that snake venom could cure tumours. She revealed that she had tested her theory by milking the snakes to get the venom and making an ointment.

“I now need to go to university so that I can play around with the peptide bonds,” said Arsheen.

Her dream may soon become a reality, thanks to the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists. She received a gold medal and also scooped up the sought-after Eskom Expo Best Female Award.

Arsheen was also selected as one of four candidates standing the chance of winning a bursary to study at CUT.

Reitumetse Lekitlane’s project used the principle of schmutzdecke to filter sewage water to give community members access to more clean water.

The other special prize went to Abram Marothodi, a Gr. 12 learner at the Lese­ding High School. He won the Best Energy award for his project, “Maths Laboratory”.

The award for best deve­lopment project went to Boitumelo Dikano and Thabo Dick, Gr. 11 learners of the Rainbow Secondary School in Bultfontein, for their project that aimed to address problems with radio antennas.

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