The Department of Chemical Engineering was the proud host of the Western Cape provincial round of Minquiz 2017. The Western Cape provincial organiser Dr Kirsten Corin was ably assisted by an eager team of postgrad volunteers to create a very enjoyable event.
The Western Cape team pictured with the Minquiz 2017 MC; Rodney van Wyk (Monument Park), Nanji Sheni (MIntek), Laaiqah Jeewa (Protea Heights Academy), Adam Begg (SACS) and Joshua Putterill (Somerset College)
Minquiz is South Africa’s premier annual national science competition for Grade 12 learners. The provincial round of the competition took place on Thursday, 18 May 2017, at Wynberg Boys’ High School. Schools are divided into two categories, Platinum and Gold depending on their schools’ average pass rates and how often they have competed in Minquiz in the past. Schools from across the province sent their top three learners to compete both individually as well as in teams. The competition comprises a written quiz completed as individual learners; the marks from this written quiz are used to determine the top five schools who go through into an oral quiz round.
The Western Cape competition was exciting, with a tie break in the oral round for the Platinum category between Somerset College and Rondebosch Boys’ High. In the end Rondebosch scooped the oral quiz top prize, while the top individual learner of the written quiz in the Platinum category hailed from Somerset College. Spine Road High gained the oral quiz top prize in the Gold category, and the top individual learner was from Monument Park.
The national competition took place on 18 and 19 July 2017 at Mintek Head Office in Randburg. The Western Cape team had learners from SACS, Somerset College, Monument Park and Protea Heights Academy, accompanied by the provincial organiser, Dr Kirsten Corin. Again, learners sat for a written quiz which determined the five provinces to compete in the oral quiz round. Ms Nanji Sheni, a recent MSc graduate of UCT and Mintek employee, was the MC for the event. Following an intense oral quiz round, the Western Cape team was placed 4th overall. Joshua Putterill from Somerset College took the National Top Learner award for the Platinum category. Only two distinctions were awarded for the written quiz, both going to Western Cape learners: Joshua Putterill from Somerset College and Adam Begg from SACS. Apart from the grueling quiz, Mintek treated the learners to an interactive workshop after which each learner was challenged to develop a device which would allow an egg to safely drop three storeys without breaking. Creativity and a large amount of laughter ensued as each learner dropped their device into Mintek’s central quad. Three of our Western Cape team’s devices were successful, with one gaining the Judge’s Most Ingenious design award.
The Department of Chemical Engineering is part of the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment (EBE) at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.