An Abergele schoolboy’s lunch-time experiments into the best way to break bones has landed him a top UK award.
Alex Dry, who is aiming to become a surgeon, has picked up a Crest prize from the British Science Association – his second from the renowned society.
The 15-year-old, who is about to sit his GCSEs, spent his midday breaks at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan’s science labs, looking at how animal bones fractured under force.
He has previously won a Crest award for research into colour blindness and is planning to make it a hat-trick with his next project, on toxicology, which he will start when he moves into the school’s sixth form.
Alex’s latest research, for the Crest silver level, looked at bone abnormalities, degeneration and traumas and included a report that took 70 hours to write.
Alex said: “I looked at bones and worked out an equation, which took several hours, to show what force is needed to fracture certain bones.
“I actually got pig and cattle bones from a butcher’s shop and conducted experiments in the school science laboratories at lunch times.
“Dr Dale, my biology teacher was always on hand to offer advice and check my work. It was quite a long project and my report ran to 59 pages but I did enjoy it.
“I understand I’m the first Emrys ap Iwan student to be awarded a silver Crest award.
“The task now is to concentrate on my GCSEs and then, when I am in the sixth form, I’ll look at entering a project about toxicology for the gold Crest award.”
He added: “I’m looking to complete my A-levels and then go to university to study medicine and I hope, eventually, to become a surgeon specialising in trauma or orthopaedics.
“My mum, Jacqui, works in the school canteen and I know she is very proud of what I have achieved.”
Alex’s biology teacher Dr Gemma Dale congratulated him for all his hard work.
She said: “Alex will, I’m sure, be an A* GCSE student for biology and other subjects – he is focussed and determined and I’m sure he will achieve all he what to achieve.
“He worked independently on his project and I offered only very limited advice and checked his calculations, all of which were right anyway.
“Everyone at the school is very proud of his achievements.
“We have had bronze Crest award winners, including Alex, and we have had gold award sixth form winners previously but he is the first silver award winner we have had,” added Dr Dale.
Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan head teacher Lee Cummins said: “Our ethos is that we dare every learner to achieve the very best they can.
“Alex has put a remarkable amount of work into this project, and I admire his dedication to it. I look forward to seeing him undertake his next project.”
Crest is a UK award scheme for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and is run by the British Science Association.
The scheme recognises success and enables students to build their skills and demonstrate personal achievement in project work.
Young people take ownership of their projects and choose to undertake them in areas they enjoy or see as relevant.