Sixteen-year-old Evie Jennings worked on an intuitive biology project whilst in the lower school at Acton Burnell-based Concord College.
As a result of her 70 hours of research, she has been awarded a prestigious Gold CREST award which would normally be the goal of A-level students.
Evie’s mentor for the project, biology teacher Mrs Rosina Hudson, said: “Whilst I provided some support and feedback to meet the Gold standard, Evie was in charge of her content.
“She set herself deadlines and goals, a lot of hard work that requires a great deal of self-motivation.
"It’s highly commendable as Gold CREST projects are normally carried out by A-level students.”
The feedback from the assessor was: “It is clear that a lot of hard work has gone into this final project write-up which was a very interesting read.
“Creative thinking and the ability to source appropriate evidence are key skills of a good scientist; you have demonstrated both very well. Keep up the good work.”
Evie, whose project was titled ‘Why did the Neanderthals go extinct?’, said: “As a research project I was able to select my own topic and did so based on my passion for biology.
“I was considering submitting work towards the Silver award, but in the end opted for Gold instead.
“The project was mainly conducting and formulating research with an in-depth write-up at the end to conclude my findings.”
Evie, who has chosen to study economics, history, mathematics and further mathematics for her A-levels, added: “Whilst I still enjoy biology, the main gain from this is the useful skills which I can develop and take with me into the sixth form and university.”
She will also benefit from including the prestigious award on her UCAS personal statement and CV.