THE inspirational Nobel prize winning scientist Sir Harry Kroto was back in his hometown to help young people unlock their creativity.

Sir Harry, who won the 1996 Nobel Prize for being a part of the team which discovered a soccer ball-shaped carbon molecule, Carbon 60 — a substance which revolutionised civil engineering — delivered a lecture to more than 400 primary pupils at Bolton School, which he attended as a youngster.

He came back after young people at Bolton School produced resources for his website, designed to inspire teachers in the classroom.

The scientist spoke about his time at Bolton School, his interests in arts, sports and science, starring in a Shakespeare play with Sir Ian McKellen.

Primary schoolchildren recreated the Carbon 60 molecule model, known as “buckyballs", which Sir Harry says would not have been invented if it was not for his interests in design and architecture.

He added: “It is always nice to come back and speak to young people.

“I would like them to get a feeling of satisfaction making something by their own hand which they think is elegant, and beautiful, and is useful “It was not just science that was responsible for this discovery but architecture and graphics.

“I wasn’t just interested in science, I was interested in the arts, music, sports, I went to work at a university but thought if it didn’t work I would go back and become a graphic designer.”

Dr Michael Yates, head of chemistry and science, said: “I think Sir Harry is immensely inspiring.

“The children get to meet a Sir and a Nobel prize winner. He is very personable and gets down to their level.”

The children said it was good that such a renowned Boltonian still comes back home to inspire them.

Hannah Lee, aged nine, from Highfield Primary School, said: “I think it is a good opportunity for us, it is exciting to meet a Nobel Prize winner and it is good that he comes back to his hometown to spend time with us.

“I am interested in science and have been to this event before and it is different and interesting.”

Fellow pupil Ryan Hutchings, aged 10, added: “I am interested in science and I think Sir Harry is inspiring, I have seen him before and he is good.”