Science boffin heads to US

Chase Newel and his project titled, The design and testing of an ankle induction coil cellphone charger. He is flanked by his parents, Valerie and Frank Newel.

A Pinelands High School matric pupil is taking part in a science fair in America.

Chase Newel, is one of three Cape Town school pupils chosen to make a presentation at the Intel International Science Fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Chase will be going to America to present his ankle induction coil cellphone charger.

“The more an individual walks or runs with the device attached to your ankle, the more energy is used and that energy charge can be stored and used for later purposes to charge your devices,” said Chase.

The fair will be taking place from Sunday May 13 to Saturday May 19.

Pupils presented their projects, ahead of their trip, at Bishops in Rondebosch, last Tuesday.

While Chase’s project was technological, the projects of his fellow participants, Franks Smuts and Gabriele Gess, had enviromental and engineering themes.

Gabriele, a matric pupil St Cyprian’s School in Oranjezicht, presented her project on how honey bees survive during dry months. It is based on determining the availability of pollen sources for honeybees on deciduous fruit farms during summer.

She is looking forward to her trip abroad. “I am really excited, I am proudly representing South Africa, my school, my friends and especially my parents, they gave me a lot of support,” she said.

Frank, a matric pupil from Parklands College, in Table View, spoke on Schlieren Photography, which is used to measure the density of air flow.

He said the trip would be his first abroad.

The talented teens said they were inspired by Grade 9 Rustenburg Girls’ pupil, Zara Nijzink-Laurie, who won a silver medal at the Taiwan International Science Fair in February.

Her research was based on the barriers to using menstrual cups among school girls.

“There are girls in underprivileged communities who don’t have access to pads or tampons so they miss school every month because they are menstruating, so I just thought that I should do research on the benefits of menstrual cups,” said Zara

Olga Peel, a regional science director who worked with the Eskom Cape Town Expo for Young Scientists 2018 to select these pupils, said: “They can expect nine or more judges in one day which is heavy. They can expect to have a lot of fun because part of going there is not only serious but to enjoy the country that you are going to.”