Young scientist passes astronomy a year early

Jamie Edwards with his A* GCSE in astronomy

Jamie Edwards with his A* GCSE in astronomy

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HE was the world’s youngest fusioneer at 13 – now Preston’s Jamie Edwards is reaching for the stars.

The Priory Academy pupil from Penwortham collected an A* in GCSE astronomy, a year ahead of his peers.

The Year 10 student picked up his qualification on Thursday and was stunned to get the top grade in the first year the astronomy GCSE has been run at Penwortham Priory Academy.

He said: “I was hoping for an A, so I am happy. “It was really interesting course.

“To have a GCSE in the bag already is a safeguard.

“Assistant head Heather Young only got an A when she took the GCSE last year so I have beaten her – that’s good news.”

Jamie, now 15, became an international sensation when created a working nuclear fusion reactor during an experiment in the school lab.

The amateur nuclear scientist completed the task just days before his 14th birthday, taking the world record off American Taylor Wilson, who was 14 when he became the youngest “fusioneer” in 2008.

The teenager said he has always had a taste for science and used to try to do his older brother Danny’s science homework.

Jamie, along with school pal George Barker, who has helped him with the administrative side, set about trying to create the nuclear fusion reactor by contacting like-minded physicists but found raising the funds difficult. So he asked his then headteacher Jim Hourigan for support – and got it.

Since then Jamie has given talks to scientists all over the world, including the CERN in Switzerland, appeared on television and radio shows around the globe and even travelled to the USA to appear on the David Letterman Show.

The school, in Crow Hills Road, is due to open a new £750,000 science block in September.

It will have a ceiling with the constellations on it.

The school recorded a 100 per cent pass rate for those who took the new Astronomy GCSE, introduced at Priory as a curriculum subject for the first time.