Name: Haadi Shalabi
CREST Level: Gold
Project Title: Stop the Infection
Project Mentor / Organisation: Dr Tarek Shalabi (father) and Mr Heath (chemistry teacher at Nottingham High School)
Haadi started on his project in his own time. After of hearing about the CREST scheme from school, he entered his project work and received a Gold CREST Award. Once part of the CREST scheme he heard about the other opportunities open to him and successfully entered the National Science + Engineering Competition in 2009. Now in the 4th year of his medical degree, Haadi is still involved with CREST and the Competition as a volunteer each year looking after the next generation of Competition finalists. He tells us a bit about his CREST experience here.
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What was your project about?
2 million children die each year in developing countries from simply preventable water-borne diseases. ‘Stop the Infection’ is a website targeting children in Africa, to spread the word and encourage use of prevention methods against these water-borne diseases, such as simple hygienic and informative attitudes. This is achieved through an interactive and user-friendly approach, to help increase the effectiveness and simplicity of the message.
Who encouraged you to get involved with CREST?
My school initially approached me with the concept of submitting my self-driven project to an award scheme such as CREST. After self-research, I realised the wonderful opportunity which I had to get involved in a scheme which would allow me to showcase my project.
I would like to thank my family, in particular my father, for their tremendous support, without which my project would never have flourished.
What was the best thing about doing a CREST award?
The opportunity to competitively present your own project to specialists.
Now approaching the end of Medical School at Nottingham, I look back on the CREST Experience and the subsequent Big Bang Fair (2009) as one of the most significant events in my life. Developing and presenting this project still remains as one of the most essential experiences I have had.
How do you think you benefited from your CREST Award experience?
An invaluable experience to develop essential life skills, such as communication, presentation, confidence, and building on constructive criticism. The award scheme also provided essential opportunities to contact and get involved with other people, specialists, and students, who aid develop the project further.
What are your hopes for the future?
Looking to the future, after working hard to become a competent doctor, it is my dream to travel to some of those in the world who do not have access to healthcare, and help them through using the skills I have developed through both my University and thankfully the CREST experience.
Any wise words to those thinking of undertaking a CREST Award now?
Developing your own project is a superb opportunity to build and enhance personal skills such as presenting, communicating, and selling an idea, which will stick with you forever.