Abigail Stear

What were the aims of your project, and how did you go about achieving these?

To investigate various control strategies for the reduction of nematode population in ruminants using a mathematical model.

What did you learn most from your placement experience?

One particular challenge I found with this project was the approach of plotting graphs in a software programme called R. I had never used anything like this before and found the complex coding rather intimidating at first. However, my supervisor patiently went over the different forms of coding and I found that the more I practised, the more proficient I became.

What are your longer term plans and how did your placement experience affect these plans?

My longer term plans are to gain an undergraduate degree in biomedical sciences and go on to gain a PhD in a more specialized area. Without the benefit of my placement experience, I wouldn't have had the confidence to think about gaining education beyond undergraduate degree level.

What was it like exhibiting at the Big Bang?  How does it feel to have won the top prize in the Science & Maths category?

It was exciting (though also nerve-wracking!) to travel down to Birmingham to present my work to judges and the general public. I really enjoyed meeting other scientifically minded students and attending the presentations the Big Bang offered. In particular, I found the Employability workshop very useful and went away with a clearer idea of how to present myself to employers.

Gaining a ‘highly commended’ award for my project was definitely the highlight, though I enjoyed the whole event. I would encourage anyone to apply for a place at the Big Bang Fair because it is such a great experience.