The subject of my independent experiment is how living in densely populated environments affects fly mood, with a focus on anxiety and social interactions. Displaying anxiety in response to stressful environments is a trait that flies share with humans, so remember: if you’re ever feeling anxious, just know you aren’t alone, because a lot of flies are currently feeling that way as well.
What proved harder was figuring out how much space to give the flies, and how much food I needed to make that space. I used a “standard” vial of flies (60 flies in 19 cubic centimeters) to calculate that the flies’ normal density is about 3 flies per cubic centimeter. This is probably one of the strangest units I’ve ever worked with, but I was able to use this average to make vials that gave the flies twice as much space, standard space, half the space, one third of the space, and one quarter of the space. After they’ve spent several days in these vials, I will test their response to the social space and centrophobism assays.
During the first few weeks of this program, I learned so much about being in a lab and how to manage fruit flies.
Did you know that you could use CO2 to anesthetize flies and sort them?
You can also use ice to knock them out for assays.
Howdy, all! My name is Olivia Bamford, and I’m going to be a senior at Wissahickon High School in the fall. Before I get into the juicy details about how science plays a role in my life, some other things about me are that I’m part of my school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, Debate and Speech team, concert band, and school newspaper (I’m very busy, but it’s okay -- sleep is overrated [it’s not.]). I also do Kenpo karate outside of school and have my second degree black belt!
Anyways, having grown up in a heavily science-oriented family, my exposure to the field has been a constant part of my life, starting with those DIY science kits you can buy at LearningExpress. While my school has fantastic and ever-growing opportunities for students to engage in the STEM environment, it lacks the research component of STEM. So when I heard about a few of my classmates and friends doing TRIP for the past winter session, I was super interested! I thought it sounded awesome, with its emphasis on an independent research project, something I’d never even thought of doing until well into college. Thus, I decided to apply for the summer 19 session of TRIP, blah, blah -- and the rest is history!
Anyways, so far TRIP has already taught and exposed me to SO much (and that’s not even including the newfound train station/schedule navigation skills ;)). I was really nervous for the first day (admittedly, I barely slept the night before because of nerves), but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the environment is a lot less… scary? I guess? New things are, obviously, very daunting, and I tend to overthink my expectations; however, the first two days were AMAZING! It was really cool to take some of the things that I have learned in school (example: using a micro-pipette), and then take them to another level (follow up example: actually reading a micro-pipette and setting it). Additionally, my mom worked with fruit flies when she was younger, so it’s really cool to compare my experience so far with her’s-- it makes for great dinnertime conversation.
Hi everyone! My name is Rachel McCabe and I’m going into my senior year at Friends’ Central School.
My favorite subjects are science and history. I’m also on the Field Hockey and Track teams, and I play the flute in the orchestra. Outside of school, I love to hang out with my friends, watch Netflix (I’ve recently been very into Grey’s Anatomy and Criminal Minds), and bake. I love to experiment and try out new recipes and foods, but I’m gluten free which can make it a little difficult. This summer, when I’m not at TRIP, I will be teaching swim lessons at Swarthmore College. I’ve been doing it for the past two summers, and always had a lot of fun. I wanted to do TRIP because I love science, and I think the program is a good way to experience what a career in research could be like.
Having finished my first week, I’ve already learned so much. It’s kind of crazy to me that the classes are five hours long, as so far they have felt much shorter. The first day, we learned how to make fly food and use micro-pipettes. I also found out that I will be experimenting next week to find out how constant darkness and St John’s Wort (a drug typically used for depression in humans) affect the social interactions of flies. I will be doing this by using the Social Space Assay, which monitors the distance between flies. I predict that constant darkness will cause an increase in the distance between flies, while St John’s Wort will cause the flies to be close together.
In my free time, I love to take on volunteering because it gives me something to do in my free time and teaches me how to adapt to the outside world. I mainly volunteer at the hospital because I enjoy talking with patients and other volunteers. If I am not at the hospital, I am either tutoring kids at my house or at the middle schools. I love to share my knowledge with others. Once I learn about a topic, I like to discuss or share what I learned with others. One time, I spent most of a car ride home from New York continuously talking with my cousin about the heart and recent advances in the science field. My passion for learning and discussing information drives my passion to share it with others. However, I want to learn how to share information formally to the public, which I hope TRIP will teach me. I also swim and play basketball in my free time and if I am not listening to music (Khalid is my favorite) I am either watching TV (The Office and Parks and Rec) or going on walks with my friends which is my favorite!
This is my first research program, so coming into the first day, I was not at all sure of what to expect from TRIP. Right off the bat, the most difficult part was figuring out where everything is in the lab. My prior lab experience comes from biology or chemistry classes, which had the same exact setup, so it was hard to get used to a new layout. I’m still having trouble figuring out where things are, but on the second day I was able to locate things (weighing boats, tubes) first try. I have also never worked with a live animal, so flies are very new to me. Coming in, I thought I would hate working with flies (I don’t like bugs). However, after sorting them with the CO2 gun and mat, I realized that my fears were irrational, giving myself much more confidence in the lab. I look forward to working with flies in the upcoming weeks, as it is wildly different from anything I've done before, and something that seems like a vital step in advancing my scientific education.
which for me involves testing the effects of Holy Basil and UV exposure on locomotion. I enjoyed learning the lab techniques that I will eventually apply to my independent project, such as brushing up on pipettes, and learning how to tell the gender of a fly. I also learned how to use various machines in the lab. One that stands out to me is the UV machine, which administers UV light to flies that are placed inside. I didn’t know this was a thing before Thursday, and it was cool to learn about something completely new to me. After just two lab sessions, I am already seeing my skills expanding, and I cannot wait to see how far they will come before the end of TRIP. I look forward to next week, when we will continue our preliminary experiment, and have our first presentation about our findings, getting us on track for the August presentation of our independent projects.
Hello! My name is Amira Phillips and I will be a junior this upcoming school year. I attend Lankenau Environmental Science Magnet High School. I have many different interests. The one that has been the most fun and interesting is my SERIOUS love for the field of medicine. I have always wanted to be a doctor or a surgeon of some type. If you were to ask me, I consider myself a very eager person. I always want to learn something new or to add something different to my background. Part of how I ended up here at TRIP 2019 is my eagerness for science and my drive for success. I take a few weeks of each school year to research and apply to summer programs to challenge me and keep me busy. My summer programs are very important to me, as I aspire to go to college and medical school in the near future and I feel that my participation in summer programs makes me more interesting to colleges (when that time approaches).
I have just completed my first week at TRIP and so far I like it. I really like the morning part before the overlap which is where we do most of the lab work and research. My initial experiment that I have been assigned is “How does Ginkgo Biloba and head trauma affect adult locomotion?” I find this type of research very intriguing because I am interested in neuroscience and how the mind develops and responds to the environment, especially as we age. If you would have asked me a few years ago what would I be doing with my high school summers I wouldn't have thought about science summer programs.
Hi! My name is Madison Shelton and I will be a sophomore at Masterman High School. My passion for science, specifically biology, led me to TRIP. As soon as I opened the website for TRIP I was filled with excitement about the possibility of cultivating my interests in STEM. I am fascinated with the seemingly endless possibilities that lie in research and I hope to be able to pursue a career in biology. My first week at TRIP has left me eager to create and carry out my own project, and learn many skills along the way. I have already gained so much from TRIP in just two days- friends, knowledge, and my own vial of old fruit flies!
In school, I am always looking for a new club to join or interest to pursue. In the past year I have tried to learn (though rather unsuccessfully) coding and American Sign Language, and joined my school’s yoga club, feminist club, and philosophy club. I have also been playing the violin for 7 years through my school and I play for their orchestra. My favorite extracurricular, however, is rowing for Philadelphia City Rowing. In my free time I enjoy watching Netflix, babysitting, and listening to music.
I am excited to be a part of TRIP and for all the new experiences to come!
I picked the morning session which is 5 hours long. I am working at McDonald’s this summer and I usually have 5 hour long shifts. It felt as if the day was way too long! That thought got blown out the window after the first day. Right after the 30 minute lecture, we went at it full throttle. Using pipettes, making solutions, filling vials, and this was only the first day. This pattern didn’t change at all the next session. We sorted flies, and made grape plates. Those five hours became the fastest five hours of my entire life. The entire day goes by in a flash. I would say time goes by when you’re having fun, but that would be an understatement. I have been wanting a summer camp like this for so long. A camp that is beneficial but also, doesn’t feel like an eternity everyday. Overall, I made some assumptions about TRIP that were easily proven wrong, and I am excited to be proven wrong again.