Deepesh Patel & Raghd Rostom

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   In the 2010 round of the Competition, Deepesh presented his
   project, Informing the public about the spread of disease, and he
   won a prize for the best presented project.  




   At the same fair, Raghd presented her project, Factors
   influencing bone formation in embryonic chick bones in vitro
   and the judges selected her project to go to Portugal and 
   compete in the European Union Contest for Young Scientists.
   At this international fair, Raghd won the EIRO Forum Prize to
   visit the European Molecular Biology Laboratory for a few days'
   work experience.



Deepesh and Raghd met at the Competition finals and realised that they had a shared interest. They decided to work together and research medicinal plants, and so their joint project, Roots to Shoots began. Recently rebranded as Canopy to Cures, the project looks at the distribution of medicinal plants in the rainforest and sees how climate change and deforestation affect this. Deepesh and Raghd strongly believe in engaging with other young people so they will take part in programmes at schools and science festivals to share their discoveries. 

This is what Deepesh has said about their experiences:

"We both won prizes in 2010's National Science & Engineering Competition and after such a fantastic experience, we both really wanted to come back again the next year. So Raghd and I teamed up to create a science project which involved researching medicinal plants and teaching other young people about this subject. I am soon going to be jetting off to Peru to work with plant scientists in the Peruvian Amazon and Raghd has been working in molecular biology labs and will be researching the distributions of medicinal plants in the UK this summer.

Our project, Canopy to Cures was born out of the National Science & Engineering Competition. Since then, we've had the chance to showcase our work at the British Science Festival and The Big Bang 2011, and work with scientists, students and people all over the country... and beyond! We never thought that something so exciting could come about from a science competition, but since starting in 2010, we've met so many great people and been able to access science on a scale we never thought could be possible at such a young age!"

Through her involvement with the National Science & Engineering Competition, Raghd gained a place to attend the Swiss Youth Forum in September 2011. Here's what she said about her prize trip:

"The conference was about the Future of Public Healthcare, but I was in the Research & Development focus group. Throughout the week we had lots of fantastic lectures from some amazing people - the CEO of Roche, Head of Innovation at Siemens and even Kofi Annan! We also had workshops in our groups to try and tackle some of the problems facing us around the world. Outside of the programme we had an awesome time exploring the area - the conference was in a beautiful setting by a lake at the foot of the Alps - all made better by the fact it was a group of 100 young scientists with similar interests (and nerdiness). All in all it was an amazing week, and I can only thank the British Science Association for letting me know about it!"

 Deepesh and Raghd explaining Canopy to Cures to visitors at the 2011 Big Bang:








To find out more about Deepesh and Raghd's project, visit their website.