Dr. Tahani Baakdhah is a woman in STEM that loves to learn, "I love medicine, science and art and this passion led me to science communication. I am a doctor by training, graduated from medical school back in 2003, started my residency training then moved to Canada where I got my master degree in molecular genetics and then joined the PhD program at the University of Toronto where I am now in my final year studying stem cells in the retina at the Institute of Medical Science. I started my craft life back in 2010, after I joined Instagram, which was a new platform back then. I saw posts about amigurumi, which are little crocheted figures. My kids were still little and I wanted to make custom toys for them. I watched a lot of YouTube videos, practiced all kinds of stitches and taught myself how to crochet. By the end of 2012, I joined the Toronto Etsy team and started to participate in their mobile pop-up markets. I started to make science crochet in June, when SciCommTO invited me to help them introduce the Knit a Neuron workshop in Toronto, an event that originated in the UK. Now every time I look under the microscope, I see different kinds of cells, which motivates me to create my own patterns to crochet.
Since then I have been invited to many scicomm talks/ panels and participated in many STEM activities in schools, my university and other public events. Using crocheted models helped me in explaining complex science ideas, translate science/medical research in an attractive way, teach and instruct people how to crochet these models. Either through workshops or through selling my artwork I always like to send along scientific illustrations designed using my crocheted models. I have also started a hashtag on twitter called #crochetyourphd where I share my sciart PhD work that will soon be translated into a my first sciart science communication crochet pattern book. My STEM journey will be continued and I am always happy to guide and inspire young girls to join the STEM field along the way. As a mother and a full time graduate student balancing life can be really hard but with support, creativity and passion to all the things I do my life goes on."