At only 13, the Mapudithomo Primary school girl, Tumelo Ramokane,had great plans to solve some scientific problems.
While out for a picnic with her family, she noticed that their cooler box had not been doing a great job at keeping the drinks chilled.
This is when she got the bright idea to invent her own improved cooler box, and eventually her innovation led to her winning a prize for best female scientist at the annually held Eskom Science Expo.
The expo also features learners from Lesotho, Namibia, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania and Mexico, as well as from here.
Tumelo took top spot and won a gold medal plus other prizes such as a laptop and gold certificates, for her solar powered cooler box which can be used to store food, drinks, medicine and even charge cellphones!
Read Tumelo's story below.
"I've always enjoyed science because it allows you to solve all the problems of the world and it's also a lot of fun. When I was out on a family gathering, I noticed that our cooler box was not cooling our drinks and there was a lot of melted ice, it was no good.
I thought about how I can improve the cooler box and once I had my idea I spoke to my science teacher and mentor Mrs Matjatji Dankuru and she helped me bring my ideas to life. Making sure that my plan worked out properly meant that I would skip many of my breaks and fun weekend activities to put work into my project.
The hardest part of my project was getting my solar cooler box to work. Sometimes there were problems after problems and I did become a little discouraged. Luckily for me, my support system was huge. My parents and my mentor were always encouraging me to keep on working hard and eventually my solar cooler box project was working perfectly.
It was the first time I had entered the Science expo competition so I was very nervous but I did my best. When they announced that I was the winner of the Female Scientist Award, I felt like I was dreaming, my parents and mentor were very excited. I was very proud."
Tumelo said that when she's older she would like to start a company that sells solar powered cooler boxes. She also said that she would like to become a doctor so that she can help people.
Tumelo's mentor, Mrs Dankuru said that Tumelo was a hard working and dedicated student who was very hands on. She also said that Tumelo was a perfectionist who didn't stop putting in dedication until she thought the project was perfect.
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