The first week of TRIP was great. The idea of waking up to learn about science on a Saturday morning is a bit odd, but it has been a great time. I love learning how to use a micropipette, make and dilute solutions, and set up an experiment. We were given our experiments, mine is the effects of St. John’s Wort and constant darkness on mood, and I am excited to find the results. On top of all the information we were given, I also got to meet my amazing classmates whom seem great.
The second week of TRIP was just as fun as the first. We made grape plates to be used for later studies. This was a great activity to hone my skills from week 1; I had to combine my skills of making and diluting solutions with micropipetting. The highlight of the day was sorting out flies for my experiment. I had to knock out the flies using CO2 and sort them by male and female. This started off a bit tedious, but as I continued sorting, it became easier and I moved more quickly. I cannot wait to see what next Saturday’s experimental results will bring.
Hi! My name is Rebecca Thomas. I'm a sophomore, and I go to the Downingtown STEM Academy. Music is a big part of my life. I grew up around music, both in church and at home, so I’ve been singing for a very long time. Most of my time is spent listening to or singing music, as I am involved in various choirs in school, the Kennett Symphony Chorus, and at church.
Most of my friends seem to know what they want to do in the future, which is something I wish I could say. That's why I'm so excited for TRIP! I think it will be a good opportunity to expose myself to various careers and explore my interest in science.
In school, although we do labs, our learning is not as hands-on as I would like it to be. The TRIP Initiative works differently from school in that I have the ability work in a lab the whole time. This program allows me to work how a real scientist works! I am able to DO science rather learn science! I get to expand my interest, commitment to learning, and understanding of science.
The first two weeks of TRIP have gone by so fast. I was worried about 5 hours of hard work being straining, but it has not been. Although tiring, the work has been balanced out by our energetic instructors and the fun of meeting and interacting with my peers. I was also a little worried about the whole fly thing because insects...well they're not my favorite, but I’m starting to get used to them! I have already learned a crazy amount of new information, and I can't even imagine what I will have learned by the end of my experience in the TRIP Initiative.
Hello! I am Veronica Zhang, a 2019 TRIP member. I am currently a sophomore at Hatboro-Horsham High School. Throughout the years, I have always carried a deep passion for science, especially biology, with me. Growing up, I was surrounded by family members who devoted their lives to research or treating patients, so I was exposed to all sorts of medical terminology and concepts from a young age. Sitting at the dinner table with my family every night was my favorite part of my childhood days since I was able to learn about the methods that my relatives used to diagnose and treat their patients. I decided to take my love for science to the next level when I applied for a two-month long internship at the Freshwater Fisheries Research Center in Wuxi, China. Those were possibly the best two months of my life! I was able to work in a real genetics lab and work with the model organism of the zebra-fish. My responsibilities included the aquaculture of the zebra-fish, gathering samples, and performing trials of DNA extraction and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). The goal of the research team that I was a part of was to see if knocked-out genes would carry on to the next generation of zebra-fish and if the next generation would exhibit any unusual behavior or harmful mutations to their genes. This experience allowed me to get an inside look of the research behind gene therapy and how applicable it can be in the real world. I still vividly remember the thrill that I always felt whenever I put on the white lab coat and picked up the micro-pipette in the laboratory, and that is one of the reasons I applied to join the TRIP Initiative.
Apart from my devotion to science, I am also extremely committed to playing the piano. I have been playing since I was 5 and have currently been playing for more than 10 years. I have been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall six times in the past several years. You could say that I feel at home both in the lab and on the stage! In addition, I enjoy travelling with my family. I have been to Australia, Russia, China, and Canada. My favorite part of traveling is being able to visit historical landmarks that I learned about in school and also to be able to connect with the locals and learn the country’s culture.
I also enjoyed running track during my middle school years. My favorite event to run was the 4 x 100 baton relay, but I also ran the 400m event. I am an active participant and leader of the Future Business Leaders of America club, the Future Medical Leaders of America club, the Interact club, and the Hat Chat newspaper at my school. In addition, I am a member of Hatboro-Horsham’s Science Club and Key Club. Finally, I aspire to pursue a career in the emergency medicine or surgical department in the future. I am so excited to get involved in the TRIP Initiative and to meet other fellow high school-ers who are also interested in science!
Hey! My name is Remington (Remi for short), and I am currently a junior at Upper Dublin High School. I was born in Ohio, but spent three years in China before moving back to America. At five, my family moved to the Pennsylvania we all know and love today. Currently I am looking at a prospective major in biochemistry, which is also why I am in TRIP!
In school, I enjoy a variety of clubs and programs. I am excited to have qualified for FBLA states (Future Business Leaders of America) this year; I can’t wait to go to Hershey to compete! I also participate in science related activities, such as Science Olympiad. I am taking the Chemistry Olympiads this year, so wish me luck!
But wait, there’s more! Outside of school, I play chess and piano as a hobby. When I’m not busy (which seems to be becoming more and more uncommon :/), I go around town with friends or Facetime them. Because I have an android instead of an iPhone, I’m always blamed for having to go the extra mile to Facetime (we need to use an app instead). Apparently, you also can’t name group chats or add people! As a natural problem solver, I tell them that they should all switch to androids. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to listen.
On a serious note, I am very excited to explore TRIP with 7 great people and 5 great instructors! We have only met twice, and I have already learned more about flies than I ever thought I would! I look forward to continuing this journey in the coming months.
Hey everyone! My name is Evan Qiang and I am a junior at Wissahickon High School. I love anything science or math related (except physics, which I try to stay away from at all costs). I particularly like biology and neuroscience, and I plan to do something related to these fields when I go to college.
In my free time, I enjoy playing the piano and viola, learning new languages, and listening to music I grew up with in middle school. I also volunteer at the Abington-Lansdale hospital and teach MathCounts to elementary school students, who are always crazy but never fail to put a smile on my face! At school, I am a senator on the student council and an officer for the science club.
Hi! My name is William Huang and I am currently a sophomore at Central Bucks High School South. I became interested and chose to apply to the TRIP Initiative because I have a fond interest in various STEM fields, particularly materials engineering, aerospace, and chemistry. I also noticed that TRIP involves extensive independent research with guidance from mentors and teamwork. This really attracted me as I want to gain experience in performing scientific research and expand upon my knowledge with this amazing opportunity. I also have the chance to converse with motivated students who have similar interests as me and learn to work together to solve various problems.
I like to spend my free time in a lot of different ways. Sometimes I like to hang out with friends or play video games with them. Other times, I like to just learn more about science and engineering through the internet by myself. Occasionally, I enjoy rewatching The Office because I can't ever get enough of that amazing show. Musically, I have been playing the piano for about 10 years now and continue to enjoy it. I also take an interest in aviation and someday might want to get my private pilot’s licence.
I am so excited for the many weeks to come and am honored to be a part of the TRIP community! :)
Hi! My name is Kaeli Kaymak-Loveless, and I'm a sophomore at Unionville High School. Ever since I was a little girl, I've been extremely curious; I'm always searching for concrete explanations for events in my life (in fact, my mother has told me that I wasn't traditionally cute when I was little because I was "way too intense" and always asking questions). This curiosity has translated to a passion for science in my teenage years. I love all of my science classes at school, but unfortunately my school doesn't have the facilities for me to conduct my own independent research. In addition, I would say that I'm fairly self-conscious, so I'm usually nervous to discuss my knowledge and propose my ideas for research projects. TRIP will be my first real independent research experience, and I hope it will improve my self-confidence as well!
I have absolutely loved my first two TRIP sessions! I was a little nervous that dealing with the fruit flies would trigger my fear of bugs, but luckily it hasn’t. I’ve especially enjoyed sorting the flies -- I would even say that it’s relaxing! I also can’t wait to perform some assays on the flies next weekend. For my first experiment, I’m testing the effects of Red Clover and high temperature on female fertility, so I’ll be using the female fertility assay.
Here's a few facts about me: I'm a relatively serious ballerina -- I've been dancing since I was 3 years old, and this past summer I was privileged to attend a summer intensive at the Pennsylvania Ballet. I was invited to join their year-round ballet school program, but unfortunately I had to decline due to the incredibly long commute from my home in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Also, every summer I travel to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, where my mother grew up and where most of my family lives. Cyprus is divided between the Turks and the Greeks (my family lives on the Turkish side). The border is highly militarized, and it's quite a hassle to cross it. This coming summer, I hope to volunteer for the organization "Unite Cyprus Now", whose aim is to improve relations between the Turks and Greeks in hopes of reconciliation. One more fun fact: I've eaten some pretty crazy foods, including kangaroo and sheep's head (brain, eyes, tongue, and cheek).
Hey everybody! I'm Maya Murry and I'm a junior at Neshaminy High School. I took the opportunity to participate in TRIP because I've been seeking a research experience to find out what my interests are and learn more about the practical side of life that school doesn't necessarily educate you in. I’ve changed high schools three times, but I don’t think I’ve ever been so in for a learning experience as the one TRIP is about to engulf me. Boy, I’ve already begun making analogies with the equipment we use to my own life (hence the title, vortex! The one where we mixed the solution!!). For truly, this experience has been part of a vortex that I don’t think I’ve escaped yet. In 2017, I was throw into this entirely new entity you may call the US. I felt like Dorothy except now my Toto is a hundred violently-mating fruit flies in a vial.
But ever since that vortex, I have walked as if I was stepping upon a new planet (not unlike the insanely drastic contrast between the US and Saudi Arabia!). As for now, I know that I have come with a firm purpose, despite the head trauma and personal identity crisis one would feel within the eddies of a tornado made of something as abstract as space time itself. But I know, somewhere within these moments where I lay on my knees precisely measuring solutions (not the walter white ones I promise) or separating fruit flies based on gender - somewhere within these lessons I’m going to create myself, if not find.
The fact that I would get to explore more with my own freedom throughout this research experience really resonates with me, especially due to not having ever been offered any research programs during my time living in Saudi Arabia. This also seems like the perfect opportunity to make friends with similar interests.
Some random facts about me: I LOVE drawing and painting and want to minor in Art hopefully or sell (obviously fly portraits) some in a gallery. Ballet and track are a big part of my life and a way I reduce all the stress from school (and from potentially being the murderer of at least a few hundred flies). I've only been in the US for a year and a half but I can't wait to meet "y'all"!
Hi! My name is Sara Dedhia and I am a sophomore at Methacton High School. My favorite subjects are, you guessed it, science and math. I especially enjoy chemistry as much of it is math-based! Through my school, I take part in FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), Science Fair, Key Club, and Girls Who Code. As for sports, I play tennis for my school team in fall and enjoy running in my free time, I even ran my first half-marathon last year! Outside of school, I am an assistant dance teacher and really enjoy dancing, I love reading various genres of books, and adore traveling with my family to see new places and experience different cultures. One of my goals is to visit all seven continents, and so far I have been to Europe, Asia, and North America. Additionally, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family and watching Netflix. Some of my favorite shows are Friends, the Office, and Gilmore Girls.
I am very excited to be a part of the TRIP program and learn new techniques and skills, such as data analysis and communication/presentation skills, that can aid me throughout my lifetime. In the future I aspire to pursue a career in the medical field, so being a part of TRIP will give me insight into the research side of the sciences by giving me the opportunity to work in a lab and create my own project design using fruit flies, with which I can mimic certain behaviors pertaining to humans and relate it to clinical research. I am also excited to create long lasting relationships with people which I share similar interests and passions with. Within these last few weeks we’ve learned how to micropipette, make grape plates, differentiate the different parts of the fruit fly life cycle, and sort male and female flies. It’s only been two weeks and I can’t wait to learn more!
Hi everyone! I really hope you read the title in Adele’s voice and now have the song stuck in your head...but if you don’t please go back and read it again, thanks! It’s alright I’m just kidding, don’t want any songs getting stuck in your head, it can get really annoying, unless you like songs stuck in your head. Now that we’ve talked about Adele long enough let’s talk about me (not trying to sound haughty, but I mean you are here to find out more about TRIP members, not Adele).
My name is Katherine Dankulich and I am a senior at William Tennent High School, you might be thinking “ooo senior” she probably already knows which college, what major, and has her future set. The reality is slightly different, I have no idea. Except that I love science and medicine so my future will definitely be in the medical field, there are just so many options that it’s hard to pick, but as long as I figure it out by May 1st, I’ll be alright.
My family is originally from Ukraine, my parents and four older siblings (two brother and two sisters) moved to America twenty-five years ago, and then eight years later I was born. I grew up speaking Ukrainian and still speak it to this day. My favorite food is pizza, I could eat it 24/7 and would never get sick of it, I would maybe add some ice cream (Coconut Almond Joy from Tanners) for a little variety, and wash everything down with a nice cold Coca-Cola (in a glass bottle). I would probably even add some chicken wings and cheese fries just to surprise my body once in a while.
Enough about food, I could probably talk about it for a couple more paragraphs, I love to hike, bake, cheer on the best sports team ever...the Philadelphia Flyers, watch The Office (Dwight’s Christmas is the best episode) and as previously mentioned, I LOVE SCIENCE! There’s just something about science that I fell in love with! I'm not sure if it’s the power of medicine, the answers that come from research, or the ability to help people...maybe it’s just dramatic shows like Grey’s Anatomy that led me to realize I could never be a business major. It might seem crazy that someone would want to spend half their Saturday in school (especially the very same school that they already attend during the week); however, for me, there’s just something about science that led me to apply to TRIP, desperately hope to be accepted to the program, and now makes things like sorting flies a ton of fun!