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THE YCEO: South Africa: 17 year old Gabriella Mogale creates solution to end shack fires

Gabriella Mogale’s innovation won gold at the 2017 Eskom Expo for Young Scientists. Mogale, a (Grade 11 in 2017) learner at Collegiate Girls' High School designed a way to insulate shacks and make them fire resistant. Her project was inspired by the fires that ravaged through Knysna, in South Africa last year.

Gabriella Mogale, a grade 12 student of Collegiate Girl’s High School won gold for her innovation to end shack fires. Mogale designed a way to make shacks fire resistant.

Mogale entered for the Eskom for Young Scientists and her project was motivated by the Knysna fires that gutted houses last year. The fire destroyed property worth close to $41million.

Mogale said “I started thinking how nice it would be if someone could actually find a solution for the fires that had been ongoing, I was just watching TV and the Knysna fires were on. I started thinking how nice it would be if someone could actually find a solution for the fires that had been ongoing.”

Tasked with doing a school science project, she thought of a solution for shack fires because of how quickly the fire spread. Her invention had a two-part solution, to insulate the interior and exterior; the interior against cold and the exterior against fire.

“When I went to the expo and they said that I should come back this year with the improvements, I realised that it could go somewhere and that made me a little proud,” she told Herald Live.

Currently hoping to read actuarial science, Mogale was buoyed by how her idea was very much welcomed on social media.

Eskom Expo for Young Scientists (Expo) is South Africa’s primary and only existing science fair for school students, where they have an opportunity to exhibit their own scientific investigations.

Eskom Expo brings together students, teachers, professional organisations and educational bodies and governments from all over Southern Africa.

By participating at expo students will increase their awareness of the wonders of science, add to their knowledge and broaden their scientific horizons.

Annually, at the prestigious Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF), selected students from 35 Expo Regions in South Africa compete against the best young scientists from around the country and around the world.

By Socrates Mbamalu

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