Hello everyone! My name is Jacqueline Faulk, and I am a current sophomore at William Tennent High School. I see myself as a compassionate and motivated person, which I try to embrace as often as I can. I spend my free time playing tennis and with children, whether it be babysitting, tutoring, or in my own home. I love to write poems, essays, stories, or random words with my calligraphy pens. I’m always humming a tune or doing a little dance. I spend a lot of time with my family because they are what drives me along with my ambitious goals.
I’m excited to develop my lab and presentation skills while forming everlasting friendships with everyone in the TRIP family.
This past couple of weeks have been amazing! From winning the ice breaker challenge to bringing home a vial of flies, every week has presented a new experience. We’ve learned how to micropipette, make grape plates, sort flies, and much more! I have met so many great people who share similar passions with me. I am excited to see what TRIP holds for me and my future!
I know that mistakes are bound to be made in the lab. The great part about making them is that I can learn from those mistakes and have a better understanding of how and why my errors change the experiment." ~ Bridget Armstrong
The first two weeks of TRIP were great! I’ve already made several mistakes and lost flies! Yay! Joking aside, I know that mistakes are bound to be made in the lab. The great part about making them is that I can learn from those mistakes and have a better understanding of how and why my errors change the experiment. The great part about TRIP is that there is a whole team of teaching assistants, instructors, and peers that help me understand. We work as a team to make sure that everyone is on the same page, and we grow as scientists with each other. I love TRIP and I can’t wait to make more mistakes with my session A gang.
Greetings fellow TRIP website visitors! My name is Charitha (please never call me that, I like to go by Cherry) Marni and I’m currently a junior at Downingtown STEM Academy. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re either a future/current TRIP applicant trying to see if this program is even worth your time, or you’re my mom reading this for the 21st time admiring the one (1) thing her daughter has accomplished in the past 16 years. I’m kidding! I’ve accomplished other things! I’ve successfully mastered almost every TikTok dance and read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde so many times that I’ve lost count, to name a few of my outstanding accomplishments.
Anyway, apart from wasting my life away on TikTok and reading the same piece of gay literature over and over again (yes, I don’t care what anyone says, The Picture of Dorian Gray should definitely be classified as gay literature), I love to play guitar, sing, laugh in the backseats of my friends’ cars because I don’t have my permit yet (embarrassing, I know), and volunteer at a local nonprofit called Cradles to Crayons. I mean, I also do a lot of other things but I guess no one actually reveals everything about themselves in a Get-To-Know-Me post on the internet, right? You get the gist. I’ve pretty much laid out all of the main parts of my life. So why did someone like me want to apply to TRIP?
You know, that’s a great question, and I’m not even sure it has just one answer. As a junior in high school, I am simultaneously very sure and also not sure at all of what I want to do when I’m older. I’ve been thinking about going into Psychology and/or Chemistry in college and perhaps something related to research after I get my undergraduate degree but for the time being, all of that is just a thought. I applied to TRIP to see if that’s something I can seriously see myself doing. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I like to think of myself as very bubbly, curious, and desperate to help as many people as I can. All I really want is to find a profession in which I can let those parts of my personality shine, and I figured TRIP was a great way to find out if research is the right fit for me. I also applied to TRIP because I saw it as a great opportunity to meet new people. I’m always looking to expand my circle and make new friends and I thought this was a pretty cool way to find like-minded people. Just between you and me, after my first two weeks at TRIP, I can confidently say I am very satisfied with the friendships I’ve made with the amazing people I’ve met and the amazing things I’ve gotten to do in the lab.
I won’t ramble for too long, but yeah! That’s me in a nutshell! I’m totally looking forward to writing more for the TRIP blog and learning new things along the way.
Other than these activities, I also work at Duck Donuts, which, in my opinion, are the best doughnuts ever. In my free time, I love watching football (I’m a Giants fan, not an Eagles fan), watching Netflix shows, hanging out with my friends, and traveling.
While I have learned a lot through my research at TRIP, another important part of my experience has been the career talks. Before TRIP, I was very focused on becoming a doctor. This goal has not changed, but I am now thinking more seriously about trying to combine clinical work with research. I was really inspired by many of the career speakers, who had found unique jobs that capture their interests. I think it is important when planning for the future to think outside of traditional career paths, and find something that will truly be enjoyable. I also enjoyed hearing about the journeys the speakers had taken to reach their current careers. Frequently, it feels as though there is an exact path that must be followed to be successful. It was comforting to hear from people who did not follow straightforward paths, or know what they were to do as high school students. I think this lesson will be important as I pursue my own career.
However, in my negative geotaxis assay-- which tests fly activity-- I did not see promising results at first. My control flies and my flies that consumed bitter gourd were equally active. These flies were only on the diet for 3 days, which may have not been long enough to see a difference. Therefore, I tried to test the offspring of my experimental flies and found that 85.7% offspring that consumed bitter gourd were very active while 61.7% of my control offspring were very active.
If there is one thing I have learned in this program, it is that struggling early on should not dissuade you... instead of backing down from the task at hand, I asked for help and advice and watched my skills slowly grow."
If there is one thing I have learned in this program, it is that struggling early on should not dissuade you.
My first time sorting flies didn’t go very well. I couldn't flick them into the vial, I mixed up males and females, and I let them drop into very wet food.
Instead of backing down from the task at hand, I asked for help and advice and watched my skills slowly grow.
The same can be said about the larval memory assay. On a particularly busy Thursday, I mismanaged my time and found myself learning the larval memory assay at 4:45. Even before I got larva out of the vial, I knew I would be very late that day. With Dr. Amanda Purdy by my side to help me, I learned the assay by doing two conditions at a time. Although frantic, I learned the steps of the assay, albeit messily. I lost flies left and right, ruined the agar plates almost immediately, and lost track of how many trials I had done, but at the end of the day the assay was learned. Over the next few experimental days, I kept at the larval memory assay, and by the end of the program I could do it with ease.