By Anna Chamberlain, aged 12

“BOOOOOOOOMMMM!!!!” Timothy’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. His face was blackened with soot and his hair stood on end. He looked down at what remained of the school laboratory bench and saw smouldering wood and shattered glass. Shocked faces gazed up at him.

It had all started fairly well. It was nearly the end of Chemistry and Timothy was drifting in a pleasant doze with his head rested upon “Super Science Experiments for Eager Youngsters”, whilst Professor Snookhorn droned on. “So, if anyone is interested, raise your hand now …. how about you Timothy?”. “Eh? Ermmm - sure” mumbled Timothy with not the faintest idea of what he had been asked. “Marvellous!” enthused Professor Snookhorn, fixing him with a steely gaze through his thick glasses, “meet me in Lab 922 after School today and we’ll get started”. The bell clanged and Form 7092 crashed out of the classroom like a herd of elephants. BIlly Brenton, class thug, barged past Timothy muttering “Swotty boy - volunteering for Young Scientist of the Year - urghh!”. Arggghhhh! thought Timothy, but it was too late.

Four weeks and twenty five excruciating extra Chemistry lessons later and Timothy was blinking out nervously at a gaggle of eager science teachers and pushy parents, crammed into the National School of Science Laboratory for what Professor Snookhorn enthusiastically described as “the pinnacle of my teaching career” (no pressure).

Professor Snookhorn was a superlative scientist but little did he know that Timothy was a bigger hazard than sulphuric acid when it came to Chemistry. He had mistaken Timothy’s glazed expression for wide-eyed enthusiasm in class. Timothy looked down at the glistening bench, taking in the jewel coloured containers of liquids and crystals, without a clue of what they were or how to use them.

A klaxon blared. Timothy’s competitors scurried around like a pack of lab rats. Test tubes bubbled, bunsen burners’ bright flames flared and smoke scented and swirled round the room. Timothy had not bothered reading the competition rules, but jerked into action, picking random coloured bottles up and mixing the contents in a large glass container which appeared to have been placed on the bench in front of him for that purpose.

A smell like Billy Brenton’s worst ever fart began to fill the air and Timothy looked down in alarm at his bench. Thick grey smoke filled Timothy’s nostrils. The glass container into which he had poured his random mix shuddered and shook. The pushy parents started to point. The science teachers went pale. Timothy gulped. BOOOOOOOOMMMMNMMMM!!!!.

As the smoke cleared, the science teachers began to clap and a tear of pride trickled down Professor Snookhorn’s cheek. A voice boomed: “ Ladies and gentlemen I give you the winner of this year’s Young Scientist of the Year - The Biggest Bang: TIMOTHY TRENTON!”

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