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Buckley pupils look to the future after gaining special recognition for dedication to science

Synthite science prize winner from the Elfed School, Buckley, Megan Howe-Thatcher (centre) with runners-up, Hannah Jones (left) and Matteo Molica-Franco and science teacher Dr Claire Cornmell (back)

A TRIO of high achievers are chasing exciting futures in medicine after scooping a Buckley school’s science prize. 

Elfed High School students Megan Howe-Thatcher, Matteo Molica-Franco and Hannah Jones are interested in becoming a surgeon, military pathologist, and vet, respectively, after being acknowledged for their academic performance with honours at the annual Synthite science prize. 

Sponsored by Mold-based chemical manufacturer Synthite, the prize endorses exceptional efforts in chemistry, biology, and physics. 

Dr Claire Cornmell, science teacher at Elfed, explained why the trio were selected. 

“Speaking as a science department about which students to put forward, those three names absolutely stood out,” said Dr Claire. 

Overall winner, Megan, who was thrilled to lift the trophy, revealed exactly when her interest in science was piqued and her aspirations for the future. 

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“I’m grateful I’ve been recognised for the award because I love science,” said Megan, who will be studying chemistry and biology at A-level with the target of becoming a surgeon. 

“I will always remember dissecting a pig’s heart and how interesting it was. A pig heart is very similar to ours and that means we get to learn about ourselves. 

“I’d love to know even more about the human body and being a surgeon is a great way to do that.” 

Joint runner-up Matteo, who, alongside Megan, is awaiting news on an application to King’s School in Chester, is considering a career in medicine in the army. 

He said: “I want to go into medicine and pathology is probably the route I will take.  

“I’m in the army cadets in Mold which has helped me learn more about that environment and I will probably go down the route of medicine through the army.” 

Matteo, 15, who will be studying chemistry and biology at A-level, remembers vividly the moment he became interested in science, which is now evidently a real passion. 

“The fact that life exists at all is a crazy thing, so the idea we can learn about that is fascinating,” he added. 

Like Matteo, fellow runner up, Hannah, will be studying chemistry and biology, alongside maths, at A-level. 

A career as a vet could be on the cards for Hannah, 15, perfectly combining her love of animals with her interest in science.  

She said: “I’ve thought about being a vet for a while and it would be something great to do.” 

Sana Niazi, director and commercial general manager at Synthite, said: “We are passionate about helping students find their desires when it comes to science. 

“Megan, Matteo and Hannah are three worthy recipients of the Synthite science prize.” 

Synthite has operated from Alyn Works, Denbigh Road, Mold, since the 1950s and it employs 120 people.