'I will win the top prize'

PALESA Masuku is not surprised at having been chosen as one of the finalists of the science fair in London later this year.

Masuku, 16, will be joined by four other South African students at the London Science Fair, which will run from August 16. They'll be joined by students from across the globe.

"I'm very confident of coming back with the top prize," said a beaming Masuku of Moruleng village, near Rustenburg, North West.

Her project, which won her the trip to England, is quite a simple one.

"I took dried seeds of a Morula tree, put them in a tin and on the fire for 30 minutes. The result is charcoal, that maintains heat for about two hours," she said.

"I figured that I could come up with something that would save energy. I have always been intrigued by science and I'm glad that my experiment has won me a place in the finals."

Though highly fascinated by science, Masuku's passion lies in medicine.

"I'd like to study medicine and become a doctor, but I'm open to other fields. I realise that there are a whole lot of careers out there, but for now my passion is medicine," she said.

It is hardly surprising that Masuku, the only child of a science and information technology teacher, is one of the brightest students at JM Ntsime high school.

"I have won every academic award since Grade 1. I'm happy with my progress so far and hope to achieve even more," she said.

At the rate Masuku is going there is little doubt that she'll reach her goals.