Get to know me – Zahra Hanif

You\’re probably reading this post because you want to know more about me, about what I\’m going to blog about, or are just genuinely intrigued. Either way, let me introduce myself to you.
My name is Zahra Hanif and I am 16 years old. I am currently studying AS-levels at Rochdale Sixth Form College where I study Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Mathematics. I’ve just completed my exams for this year, and about to break up for summer and a well-deserved break.
When I say break, it may not be what you’re thinking. In fact, I was lucky enough to be given a placement opportunity to study Microbiology under the supervision of a professor, and undertake a research project. Up until summer, I am doing background reading on Clinical Microbiology, as part of my preparation.
My studying interests mainly lie in Biology and Chemistry, where I have undertaken a number of enrichment and extra-curricular activities within and out of college, because of my general interests. These include Chemistry Olympiad, The Honours Programme, and the Manchester Access Programme.
So with all this going on, you’re probably wondering why I’m blogging. Apart from the experience I’m gaining, science communication is important to me because it has benefited me in my studies and beyond. Let me give you an example.
In college last week, a group of students including myself were selected to take part in the Extended Project Qualification, or EPQ. As part of EPQ, each student is required to pick a question from a field of their choice that they will research and attempt to answer in the form of a scientific report and presentation. The question has to be specific enough to analyse in-depth and cover topics at a minimum of A2 level. Whilst many students have no idea on where to start, or what subject they would be interested in, I can rely on my past reading of scientific articles to quickly narrow down my choices. For instance, say I was to research on eye and vision sciences, I know I would prefer to research on human myopia than visual instrumentation.
It is in this way that science communication can help a person to gain wider insight into topics beyond any school curriculum. The knowledge of real-life applications of science is just as important as its content, which is why I’d like to encourage it and provide an opportunity from where you can expand your knowledge, in terms of science.
So, I hoped you found this first post interesting and you can be sure that there’s more to come. I will try my best to post as much as possible, working around my studies.
If there are any questions about anything that I mentioned here, or anything else you want to know, please feel free to either leave a comment or email me on zahrahani[email protected]. I will try to reply to as many of you as possible.

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