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Flintshire pupils aim for ambitious careers in STEM

(L-R) Haf Peers-Buxton (prize runner-up), Elfed High School teacher Robert Head, Sam Kenny (prize runner-up), Marcel Banski (prize winner), and Synthite director and commercial general manager Sana Niazi.

Three high-achievers from Buckley are eager to help drive scientific advancements, as they set their sights on trailblazing careers in the field.

Marcel Banski, Haf Peers-Buxton, and Sam Kenny have ambitions which stretch beyond the classroom, from developing research in marine biology, to working as a psychiatrist, to a job in aerospace engineering, respectively.

The Elfed High School pupils’ exceptional performance in their studies have been recognised through the annual Synthite Science Prize, which celebrates young people’s passion and talents in physics, chemistry, and biology.

The award, sponsored by the Mold-based chemical manufacturer, was awarded to Marcel as the overall winner, with Haf and Sam named as runners-up.

Robert Head, director of science technology and ICT at the Elfed, explained the difficultly of selecting just three students.

He said: “We have the pleasure of working with a fantastic cohort of year 11s, so it was a hard decision right from the start, let alone selecting just one winner.

“Marcel, Haf, and Sam, all have superb attitudes towards learning and have demonstrated excellent results throughout their studies, so I have no doubt they will go on to accomplish amazing feats in their futures.”

Marcel, who looks to forge a career as a marine biologist, said: “I’m really interested in how science plays out in the natural world, especially in our oceans and for the species that live there.

“I’m looking forward to continuing learning about biology and chemistry, and I hope to one day contribute to deep-sea exploration, as there’s so much more research to be done.”

Joint runner-up Haf is eager to develop her understanding of the brain, and particularly how investigating it can help improve the lives of others day-to-day.

Focused on becoming a psychiatrist, she said: “I love that science allows endless possibilities and spans across a variety of industries. I’ll be studying psychology at A level to help advance my knowledge of neurology.

“I’ve always been drawn to true crime documentaries and learning why people behave in certain ways, so I’m looking forward to understanding more about these theories and how they can be used as a tool to improve people’s mental health.”

Sam, who hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps and pursue a career in engineering, is excited about the possibility to develop more sustainable industries.

He explained: “I’m intrigued by the future of the sector, particularly the design elements as it could open up opportunities to move away from fossil fuels.

“I’m considering a career in aerospace engineering or potentially in nuclear energy, as there’s potential to be innovative, while hopefully making improvements to the ways we do things in the long term.”

Sana Niazi, director and commercial general manager at Synthite, said: “It’s clear celebrating students’ success in the sciences is continuing to inspire interest in STEM-related jobs, and the three winners are shining examples of this.

“We are always keen to support the next generation in their education, and we wish the best of luck to Marcel, Sam, and Haf as they continue to take strides in their studies.”

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