Roxanne El-Hady

Roxanne El-Hady won the title of UK Young Scientist of the Year at The Big Bang Fair in 2016 - find out what she's been up to since!

After The Big Bang Fair, I helped with judging projects at two regional Big Bang Fairs and two other science competitions.

I got to exhibit at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Brussels, and there won a prize - a trip to the Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy!

Then, jumping at any opportunity to share my experience with other young scientists, I was very happy to use my family holiday in New Zealand to talk at a high school in Christchurch, four high schools in Wellington, and at the Royal Society of New Zealand. I was also interviewed by Kim Hill on her Saturday Morning RadioNZ show, and made an appearance in ‘The Wellingtonian’, a local newspaper. I shared with students and teachers the science behind my project, how exciting it felt to be contributing towards cutting-edge scientific research, and my encouragement to students who were still uncertain about what they wanted to do when they grew up.

A family friend heard about the plans for my visit to New Zealand and asked if I could take four days from that time to come to Samoa. The Ministry of Education arranged for me to speak at five high schools to encourage their science students. I also spoke to two groups of students at National University of Samoa (NUS), and at the University of the South Pacific (USP) Agricultural Campus. The Rotary Club hosted me one evening and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) invited me to take a tour of their campus and meet 7 of their scientists who told me about their various research and conservation work in the Pacific Ocean and Islands. Unexpectedly, I also appeared in the Sunday paper and TV1 interviewed me outside one of the schools. I also spoke at a primary school where I met Lupe Va’ai, an outstanding student who recently won a prize for her book on local environmental issues. Schools welcomed me warmly with traditional Samoan songs and dances.

Though I feel I will never be qualified to do speeches and judge projects, it has been an incredible learning experience and I have gained a bit more confidence in talking to different groups of people. Every experience has been enjoyable, exciting, and a new chance to learn about science, students and the world. I’m so grateful to all the people who made this possible for me, and all those I have met since have been a huge inspiration!

Interested in entering your project into The Big Bang Competition 2017/18? Find out more and apply!

< Back to blog