May 26, 2024

Buckley students see science in action at Mold chemical manufacturer

A group of high-achieving students eyeing a career in science have experienced the science industry in action for the first time.

Elfed High School pupils Nicola Markvartora, Mia Cannon, and Niall Maguire were invited on an exclusive tour of Mold-based Synthite, which produces formaldehyde, a substance used in everyday items including furniture and cars.

The visit came after Nicola won the annual Synthite science prize, with classmates Mia and Niall being named runners up. Sponsored by the company, the award recognises exceptional effort in scientific subjects.

The year 11 pupils, from Buckley, all earned three A* grades in their year 10 GCSE science exams, and are working towards their final assessments before studying A levels in September.

Nicola, who also dances for the Elsberdance company, says she wants to use her scientific skills to help combat climate change.  She said:

“I’m interested in biology, especially animals and the environment. With so much in the news on climate change right now, I’d like to do something in conservation to help tackle the issue.

“The tour was a brilliant experience, and our first of science in the workplace, showing us the step by step process to making formaldehyde.

“It was also useful for our upcoming exams, as it included subjects we study including the oxidisation of methanol. ”

Synthite’s operations manager, Keith Polden, who guided the pupils through the plant, said:

“As a company we’re passionate about promoting science careers to young people, and through this tour, they are able to gain first hand insight of what it’s like to work in a scientific field.

“It’s encouraging to meet young and capable scientists in Nicola, Mia, and Niall, and I wish them all the best for their summer exams and future careers.”

Neil Copping, biology teacher at Elfed High School, added:

“All three pupils are excellent science students and were deservedly invited to this year’s tour.

“Whilst they have gained a wide range of knowledge in the classroom, the visit allowed them to see the practical side of working in science and how Synthite creates its chemical safely.”

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