Young scientist set to show off his lab skills in regional final

Atherton Community School pupil Alan Dickinson, 12, who is in the final of the North West young scientist of the year competition
Atherton Community School pupil Alan Dickinson, 12, who is in the final of the North West young scientist of the year competition

A YOUNG scientist who hopes one day to find a cure for cancer will showcase his skills in the laboratory in the final of a regional contest.

Atherton Community School pupil Alan Dickinson booked his place in the final of the North West young scientist of the year competition in Warrington after impressing his teachers with his enthusiasm for his favourite subject.

The 12-year-old will take on the best young scientific minds from across the region in the competition on Monday December 8, with staff in Atherton saying he is always the first one into the lab and the last to leave.

Alan says he hopes the competition will provide a springboard setting him on the way to a successful career in biochemistry saving lives at the cutting edge of medical research.

Alan said: “I have been interested in science since I was five when I was given an experiments set as a Christmas present.

“Now I just love the subject and I am driven to be involved in medical research after seeing members of my family suffer with cancer. My aim is to be a biochemist.

“It is the field where I feel I can make a difference and my goal is to help find a cure for this disease.”

Alan will make a presentation to a distinguished panel of industrialists outlining his love of science and why he wants to make it his career, before the judges ask him a series of questions.

The young scientist competition takes place at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Daresbury laboratory, with the winner carrying off the prestigious title of the region’s best young scientist and an iPad.

Staff at the borough’s first free school, located on the former Hesketh Fletcher site on Hamilton Road, say Alan has already been through a series of difficult rounds to reach the final and regularly develops his knowledge of science further by reading books aimed at a level far beyond his peers.

Atherton Community School science teacher Aimee Bradshaw said: “To get to the last eight Alan had to prepare a submission for the judges outlining the reasons why he is so passionate about the subject and what he hopes to achieve in his career.

“Reaching this stage is an achievement in itself. Thousands entered from schools throughout the North West, so be in the final is a real feather in Alan’s cap.

“He is so keen we often find him reading GCSE and A-level science books and he always researches the topics for lessons.”