FABIans lent their time and expertise to the participants of the Northern Gauteng Senior Expo for Young Scientists held at the University of Pretoria’s LC de Villiers Sports Campus from 14-15 August 2015. Of the 159 judges at the regional science expo this year, 12 came from FABI.

This year’s judges included: Drs Gudrun Dittrich-SchröderJeanne Korsman and Kershney Naidoo as well as postgraduate students Esna du Plessis, Arista Fourie, Darryl Herron, Brittany Mitchell, Dorah Mwangola, Caryn Oates, Liezl PotgieterDanielle Roodt and Ariska van der Nest.

The expo is held annually and showcases the research projects of Pretoria learners from grades 6 to 12. Nearly 500 learners from 64 schools in Pretoria submitted 400 projects this year. School groups that participate in the University of Pretoria’s science enrichment programme ‘UP with Science’ also took part.

This included Carla Hollamby and Roenita Grove, who were mentored by members of the DST-NRF Centre in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) earlier this year. The pair’s research project titled "The stressful life of plants: A shortcut to disease" was awarded silver in the Grade 10-12 group in the Plant Sciences category.

As one of the sponsors, the University of Pretoria provides the venue for the expo. The Department of Plant Science gave a R1,000 prize to Anika Meyer of Laerskool Elarduspark for her "Sandkorrelgrootte in die Namibiese kaalkolle" which was awarded the best project in the Plant Science category.