Space Science
Photo Credit: Supplied

Ntando Mambukwe and Sibulele Makalima earned gold at the Cape Town Eskom Expo for Young Scientists for their Space Science submission.


Cape Town, South Africa (24 August 2022) – Grade 11 learners, Ntando Mambukwe and Sibulele Makalima, from Camps Bay High School, brought home Gold medals from the Cape Town Eskom Expo for Young Scientists as well as a special award from the UCT Science Faculty for their entry into the Engineering Category.

Their entry was entitled “The Evolution of Radio Telescopes: The M.A.S.R.T.”

Ntando and Sibulele were the only students at The Cape Town Eskom Expo to have chosen something based on Space Science. The judges described their problem choice as ambitious and were impressed by the creative and insightful solutions they provided. They also said that the Mechanical design went beyond “school level expectation” and they described the duo as knowledgeable, with in-depth answers to the judges’ questions.

The purpose of their project was to address the problem of constant interference, which sometimes causes inaccurate results in radio telescopes. Many radio frequencies picked up by radio telescopes are man-made radio waves which are picked up instead of the radio waves of celestial objects. This prevents radio astronomers from getting the results they are meaning to observe. Another issue is our atmosphere and cloud patterns which obstruct radio waves from reaching the telescope, making radio astronomical research harder.

Two previously made Space Radio Telescopes, and research and design elements of these telescopes were used by Ntando and Sibulele to create two prototypes before they designed their final prototype to address this problem.

The learners believe that the final prototype they have designed could surpass the observations of the previous two space radio telescopes and could last longer due to the backup fuel source and the strength and durability of the materials used to build it.

“We are incredibly proud of Ntando and Sibulele who tackled a hugely ambitious subject and have put in a massive amount of effort and research into their Gold winning project. We have no doubt that this is just the start of things for them and we will be hearing more from them in the field of Science in years to come.” – Mr Louis Mostert, Camps Bay High School Principal

We are looking at two science innovators in the making! Congratulations on that gold win, Ntando and Sibulele.

Sources: Supplied
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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