Science boffin scoops award again

2019-03-20 06:02
Marsha Kalika with the award she received for her water filtration project in Grahamstown. PHOTO: supplied

Marsha Kalika with the award she received for her water filtration project in Grahamstown. PHOTO: supplied

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CHIEF education officer for the KZN Museum Marsha Kalika was one of eight winners — and a winner for the second time in a row — at the annual Scifest awards held in Grahamstown last week.

Inspired by her studies and seeing people stop near the toll on the N3 to collect spring water, Kalika set out to create an easy and simple water filtration project and presented this project through her workshop on “Filtration is Purification”, thus resulting in her receiving the award for Best Workshop: Outreach category.

“I am humbled to have won this award and honoured that the work I am doing is being recognised,” said Kalika.

With this year’s theme at the Scifest awards being “Discover your Element”, Kalika said that she wanted to show the power of H2O and use simple items to teach pupils and people that they did not need fancy equipment and expensive items when embarking on experiments.

Her presentation was on a home-made filtration system that is based on the soil profile, using rock, stones and sand. The only addition to the system was the activated charcoal that removes toxins from the water.

“I basically only used rocks, small stones, river sand, activated charcoal and a used T-shirt. In Grahamstown, where the water situation is bad, I filtered this dirty water through my filtration project and it was able to purify the water and make it completely drinkable,” said Kalika.

Kalika has presented in high schools throughout Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth as well as the East London Museum, where she has demonstrated the benefit of her filtration system in that water can be made safe for drinking.

Speaking on the actual award ceremony, Kalika said that scientists from across the world were in attendance to promote science among pupils and to push them toward pursuing a career in science.

“Receiving the award felt great but the actual feeling of a project working in the end cannot be explained, it is a feeling that is inexplicable,” said a joyful Kalika.


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