Rydal Penrhos pupils gain prestigious research placement
9th October 2015

A pair of pupils at a Colwyn Bay school achieved success on a prestigious summer science project.

Shaswath Ganapathi and Alexander Bytheway, upper sixth students at Rydal Penrhos School, beat out 300 applicants to take part in the four-week Nuffield Placement Scheme at Bangor University, which was set up to allow students from across the country to participate in research projects.

The duo successfully completed the project and travelled down to Cardiff on Monday, September 28 for a special presentation event, where they displayed their findings and received their certificates.



Head boy Shaswath, said: “It was a fantastic experience and it was great to learn about research methods and test my knowledge in a real-life research environment.

“This is definitely something I would recommend and it has been a valuable learning method for me that I will take on into further education and my working life.”

Shaswath was based in the photonics department working on a device that measures angular motions of hand movements. 

Much of his worked focussed on soldering together circuits in order to produce a prototype that can be trialled, with a view to it being used in the medical field.



Alex worked in the Chemistry department and his task was to obtain pure alkaloids from plant of the genus Narcissus with a view to them being used as new antimalarial drugs.

During his research Alex managed to obtain a sample of a substance called haemathamine, which was then sent for further pharmaceutical testing at the University of Nottingham.

At the presentation event the pupils also got the chance to meet the Nobel Laureate Professor Sir Martin Evans, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine in 2007.

Alex said: “The research I took part in was a brilliant and they have since informed me that they are going to continue with the project, and are going to keep me in the loop in regards to their outcomes, which is fantastic.”

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