Nour A_T is a Y12 student at the Liverpool Life Sciences UTC. Read her personal journey at the UTC as she embarks on her Extended Project Qualification.
About me. My name is Nour and I’m a year 12 student in the UTC who is currently studying Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Arabic A- level. My interests include sport psychology and chemistry. I’m close to submitting my Crest Award application that aims to investigate how sports affect the emotions of the performer. I’ve already published an article about my personal experiences and a bit of my background as part of the young changemakers program.
Why I joined the UTC. I joined Liverpool Life Sciences UTC in year 9 as part of the accelerated programme. I sat Business, Spanish and PE GCSE in year 10 and then I sat my core subjects and 3 further options, including Business AS in year 11. My experiences in the UTC so far have been very valuable and informative as they have helped build my background knowledge in various areas and I have also seen my interest in chemistry and related fields increase over time due to the exposure to the labs and the insight I have received into the different areas of science and the wider world; PBL projects and science related events the school has held, along with events I attended due to the schools connections, i.e.: 100,000 genomes project-transforming health care. As well as attending a gender equality conference and a conference related to East Asia in UWC Atlantic College. As I’m keen on developing the working environment I'm in, I’m part of the Junior Leadership Team as I believe it can help contribute to the progress and development of the UTC.
Current future career ideas. I’ve always been interested in medicine and medical related careers. I’m currently looking into studying pharmacy and developing drugs in the lab as well as travelling to conferences around the world in order to gain more understanding about other drugs as well as presenting my findings. I’ve expressed an interest in medicine for a long time, but I haven't really looked into the numerous pathways it opens up. I’ve done a week work experience in a pharmacy in order to gain a more in depth understanding of what a pharmacist’s role entitles and this allowed me to have a more vivid idea of what I want my future career to look like.
Role in the Baltic Research Institute (BRI). I'm currently one of the three co-directors of the BRI as well as being head of the technical centre. This will allow me to develop my leadership skills as well as improving my networking skills and being able to understand other people's perspectives on how they would approach problem solving and collectively work on overcoming a problem.
I’m also head of technical centres as I’m very passionate about this sector as it will help improve my technical skills and improve my knowledge on aspects such as molecular biology and biochemistry. This is due to the fact that I will be able to oversee how my colleagues’ projects and roles are developing and I will be able to help them overcome any difficulties they might face, and this would inevitably improve my lab and technical skills.
EPQ idea. My proposed project is titled: “How are the bacteria, campylobacter and salmonella, affected by the antibiotics: Ciprofloxacin, azithromycin and Ceftriaxone, within antibiotic cocktails?” The overall aim is to find out how do these antibiotics affect the growth and colonisation of the bacteria and whether or not antibiotic cocktails are more effective than using one type of antibiotic to inhibit the growth of the bacteria. This may be done by comparing the zones of inhibition around each antibiotic.
I’ll use secondary research to gain a better understanding of the structure and properties of both the antibiotics and the bacteria and how they interact with each other. Secondary research may also include getting test strips from the company ‘Mast Diagnostics’ that they’ve made and comparing them with my own. Analysis involves Comparing the zones of inhibition caused by the antibiotics in the agar plates and see whether antibiotic cocktails were more effective than one type of antibiotic. Moreover, I’ll have two agar plates with just the bacteria on them as they are a controlled experiment that can be used as a baseline for comparison. Overall, this would help build the main structure of my research and the final conclusion/argument.