Veterinary student Elin is top dog as she scoops up school science prize

Synthite Science Prize winner Elin Hawke, The Alun School, Mold, with her dog Bella

A student whose outstanding A Level results put her on the way to achieving a dream career has won a top science prize.

Elin Hawke, 19, from Llanferres, won the annual Synthite science award for her outstanding results while studying at Alun School, Mold.

Sponsored by the Mold-based chemicals firm, the prize goes to the student who has demonstrated exceptional effort in the subject over the previous 12 months.

Elin was awarded three A* grades for her studies in mathematics, chemistry and biology.

She has taken a place at the University of Liverpool on a five-year course in veterinary science and hopes to go on to a career specialising in horses.

The former Ysgol Brynhyfryd pupil says acceptance on the course will help fulfil a lifelong ambition.

Elin said: “I’ve always wanted to be a vet, since I was really little, I can’t remember a time I didn’t want to be a vet.

“I’ve always loved animals and science, so veterinary science is a really good combination for me.

“While I’m really into horses and always have been, they say lots of vets change their mind over the five-year course, so we’ll have to see how it goes.”

And while the pandemic has meant the student experience is not what it has been previously, Elin is very pleased to be there.

She added: “Even though it’s not what anyone was expecting, we know the university is doing as much as they can to make it as good as they can.

“We have nine to five lectures so don’t get a lot of spare time; we need to be on top of a lot of extra work.”

Jack Bourke-Bennett, head of science at the Alun School, said: “It’s fantastic, particularly when we have students joining us in the beginning of year 12 like Elin, it was great to see her adjust and then achieve these results

 “This prize has been going for a long time now, and we’ve got a long history of students who’ve gone and won it. It’s a real motivator for kids, who think, ‘if I do my best maybe I can win that too’.”

David Kelso, acting managing director at Synthite, said: “Elin is such an enthusiastic and talented student, and it’s a joy to reward her for her work with this prize.

“All of us at Synthite wish Elin the best in her career, and hope this long-running award will continue to help inspire students to pursue successful careers in science.”

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

Its main product is formaldehyde, a basic building block of the chemical industry. Formaldehyde is used in the manufacture of a vast array of everyday goods, ranging from cosmetics to furniture and floorboards.