Blog 1 by Venkat Devabhakthuni
Hello, my name is Venkat Devabhakthuni and I am a junior from Downingtown East High School. I am extremely excited for what is to come during my time at TRIP and I look forward to becoming a part of this amazing community. In school I am an active member of the Technological Student Association (TSA), Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), and Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA). I have competed in the state conferences of each of these events and placed multiple times.
Aside from school, I am a huge fan of the Eagles and have been playing soccer my entire life. I play for both my school teams and for the Lionville Soccer Club. Additionally, I love robotics, and I participate in VEX robotics competitions all over the country.
I joined TRIP because I wanted to challenge myself and to gain real world experience that is driven by me. The idea of creating my own clinical study on a topic of my own choosing sounded too good to be true! I am extremely excited for what is to come in my TRIP with all of you and am grateful to become a part of this community.
About Me by Henry Bai
Hey everyone! My name is Henry Bai and I’m 16 years old. I go to CB South in Warrington, PA. I’m excited to be in TRIP because I want to further my knowledge of environmental sciences, specifically the impact of different environmental conditions on organism reaction to particulate matter. Prior to the TRIP program, I’ve also conducted an independent research project on business ethics and sustainability over the Summer in 2022. I thought that was really interesting, which was partly why I applied to TRIP.
In my free time, I like to play basketball, workout with friends, as well as take pictures of just about anything- mainly nature, sunsets, and cityscapes. I also really enjoy skiing, but unfortunately because I don’t have much time this junior year, I haven’t been able to go up to any mountains at all. In past years, I would at least go 2-3 times, the furthest of which was Elk Mountain. In the future, it would really be a fantastic experience to ski in either Colorado or Utah.
In my first TRIP session, it was exciting to meet people with the same passions for science as me. The icebreaking activities were fun, being able to learn so much more about ourselves, others, and the world. In the introductory lab, I’m studying “How do melatonin and disrupted circadian rhythms affect mood?”, which was one of the top picks I had. I’m looking forward to what I learn in this introductory experiment, especially because it reminded me of my AP Biology class, where we also worked with fruit flies. After an exciting first day, I’m looking forward to what’s to come!
Hello! My name is Anoosha Shukla, a junior at Wissahickon High School. I am super excited to be a part of TRIP’23@WTHS.
At school, I am the vice-president of our science club. This means I get to organize and run monthly-experiments. Next month, I have organized a field trip for the science club to visit Gwynedd Mercy University’s science laboratory. I am also vice-president of the Debate and Speech team. I compete in Public Forum (2x2), alongside my debate partner. Debate is one of my favorite activities because of the adrenaline rush I get before the rounds! I am also a proud co-founder and co-president of my school’s Indian Cultural Association. This year, we had a successful Garba event. Over 150 students, parents, and community members joined us for a traditional Indian social dance. Currently, we are in the process of organizing our second annual Holi event!
Outside of school, I am a synchronized ice skater and classical dancer. I have been doing synchro (the nickname) for 8 years and I love it. I am currently skating on Team Delaware at the University of Delaware Figure Skating Club. This season, we won first place at a competition in Anaheim, California! As for dance, I learn Kathak, a form of Indian Classical dance. I dance alongside my mom which is always a great mother-daughter bonding experience. Recently, I flew to Milwaukee to be a part of Hip-Hop DNA, a production designed to explore the links of hip-hop to various cultures. These special interests serve as my creative outlet and I cherish every moment of practicing dance or being on the ice.
I applied to TRIP to gain exposure to laboratory work and build more connections within scientific topics. On Day 1 of TRIP, I learned how to use pipettes, pipets, and micropipettes! I also made four vials of fly food (constant, drug only, stressor only, drug and stressor). These four vials will help me study how black cohosh and a high sugar diet will affect female fertility in Drosophila melanogaster. Black cohosh is a species of flowering plant, native to North America. Native Americans used the root of this plant to relieve menstrual cramps and menopause symptoms. As someone who is interested in women’s health, I am curious to find out the results of this research. In addition to these foundational skills, I also got a vial containing about 30 fruit flies to take home! The vial is living on top of my desk - it is a pretty unique desk decoration! Just from the first day in the lab, I can already tell I will love this “trip”. From being around naturally curious students to learning from incredible instructors and instructors assistants, I feel like this experience will be equally enriching and rewarding.
Hi all, my name is Daniel and I'm currently a junior in Wissahickon High School! To tell you a bit about myself, I've lived in Pennsylvania for my entire life with my mother, father, and little sister. Both of my parents were born in South Korea, with my mother originating from Seoul and my father being from Jeolla-do. My parents both moved to the States around the ages of 12 (mother) and 30 (father) and married in '05! Around the age of 11 my family and I moved from Haverford to Blue Bell, where we still currently live. I’m really proud of my Korean heritage and it's been a major part of my life, including the rich history, fun traditions, and the amazing food!
In school I participate in a handful of activities. A couple worth mentioning are Key Club, Asian Student Association, Mock Trial, and Junior Class Committee. But if I had to underscore one, it would definitely be tennis. While I love the sport and the game itself, I adore the progression even more and the changes you undergo as an athlete and person! Throughout the game, it's inevitable that you face defeat, whether it comes about by making too many critical errors or simply just going up against an overwhelming stronger opponent. It’s important to efficiently learn from your losses in order to come back stronger and smarter. I make it my mission to never step onto the court fearing a loss, always reminding myself of the importance of losing and learning from defeat. It's even better when you have loads of fun all along the way!
I’ve included below an awesome quote from my all-time favorite player. "If you don't lose, you can't enjoy the victories. I have to accept both things. Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Rafael Nadal
I applied to TRIP to broaden my knowledge of laboratory research and wanted to get a feel for a biology-related career.
I applied to TRIP to broaden my knowledge of laboratory research and wanted to get a feel for a biology-related career. I was drawn into the unique personal project aspect of the program, allowing me a large scope of freedom to experiment, while being able to bounce ideas off of my amazing instructors and peers. I got to know a bunch of new friends and learned how to use some pretty expensive equipment like micropipettes. This past Saturday I even learned how to prepare yummy fly food! For my kickoff experiment I will be learning how Valerian and a high sugar diet affect the fruit fly's anxiety levels. Although I've never used Valerian before, simply learning about how certain dietary factors influence one's behavior is really intriguing to me. Isn't learning about behavior so exciting? I have no clue as to what my main individual project is going to be later on but I know I'm going to love it every step of the way!
Hey everyone! I am Arushi Vignesh, a sophomore at Conestoga High School. As a STEM enthusiast and aspiring scientist, being able to perform independent research on a topic of my choice to answer a question fascinates me. I am involved in TRIP to combine my passion for science with my curiosity about real-world events to perform hands-on research. I am very excited to spend the next few months exploring life as a research scientist at TRIP!
After noticing the gender gap in programming and computer science, my friends and I started an initiative in my community called Magenta Programmers. We provide free coding workshops to girls in middle school in order to encourage them to gain an interest in computer science. In my free time, I like hanging out with friends, watching Breaking Bad on Netflix, and eating Chick-Fil-A (yes, I know, not the healthiest option).
Yesterday was my first in-lab day at TRIP. Although I have performed science experiments in school before, I have never been in a … research lab. I got to learn about and use equipment that I had never heard of before, for example, a micropipette. I got to brush up on some math skills (always fun) while doing conversion and dilutions in order to get the correct amount of a substance. And the best part, I got assigned my first experimental question: How do black cohosh and disrupted circadian rhythms affect female fertility? To prepare for this experiment I learned how to make fly food and add the correct amount of drug and stressor. I am amazed at how much I learned in the first day alone and am excited for what the rest of this program entails!
Welcome! My name is Shiven Patel, and I am a junior at Garnet Valley High School. Ever since I was a child, I have had a passion for science. I am fascinated with science's "unknown" aspect and how much there is still to discover about the world. Additionally, I like to learn about how the world works and why objects and animals tend to act the way they do!
Outside of school, I have several passions to which I devote my time. One of these is playing tennis with my brother and friends, which I have been doing for several years. I am a member of the Varsity School Tennis team and am very competitive! Another passion of mine is spending time with my family. I come from a close-knit family, and we enjoy going on vacations. This past summer, we traveled to Turks and Caicos. The mesmerizing view and time spent with my family were gratifying. We also love to play games and explore new places and foods together! Finally, I am committed to giving back to the community. For the past few months, I have been working at Kumon, where I help children in elementary and middle school become proficient in math and reading. This work is fulfilling because it allows me to use my skills to make a positive impact on others.
I joined the TRIP Initiative because of my strong passion for science. I am excited to work with a wonderful group of people and conduct my research! I am grateful for this opportunity and can not wait for what the future has in store for me!
TRIPping Into TRIP by Ethan Kang
Aside from my passion for science, I also have a bit of an obsession with birds. I spend much of my free daylight hours trotting around various parks and trails counting, photographing, and audio recording birds. Even some of the nighttime hours I spend listening to Nocturnal Flight Calls during migration and for hooting (or screeching) owls. I also enjoy participating in rare bird chases of birds reported by the local “birders.” Right now, the Grey Catbird earns the title of my most beloved bird—the adorable “meows” and curious attitudes of this common breeding bird captured me the most. At school, I’m involved in Science Olympiad, the Future Medical and Science Professionals club, and am currently in the process of launching a Birding Club.
I’m grateful for this fantastic experience and want to see where it leads me!
My TRIP began on Saturday after an hour-long ride of anticipation. When I arrived, I certainly wasn’t disappointed! I met eight like-minded individuals who share my enthusiasm for science, as well as two graciously supportive and knowledgeable instructors, Dr. Purdy and Dr. Leystra. They taught us how to use a micropipette properly, and helped us calculate my solutions properly and mix the solutions accurately. These tangible activities stood out to me since they are scarcely taught in a classroom setting. Our session ended all too soon, but not before we took home a curious vial of flies to study daily. I’m thrilled to compare my observations with my fellow students and carry out my experiments in the coming weeks. I’m grateful for this fantastic experience and want to see where it leads me!
When I’m not in school, I’m probably busy doing one of my countless other activities. Some of my favorites are being a class officer, spinning flags (and rifles!) in my school’s marching band, reading, working as the assistant to the director in my school’s musicals, and so much more. I am also the junior secretary for my school’s Science National Honor Society and a member of the Health Science Exploration Club at Tennent. In addition to all of that, I’ve also been playing the viola for about 8 years!
Science is definitely going to be a part of my future! Also deserving of mention is the vial of fruit flies now sitting on my dining room table. I think it’s totally awesome. My parents, not so much. I’m so excited to see where TRIP takes me in this once in a lifetime opportunity!
At my high school, I tend to stay busy with numerous extracurricular activities. I am the President of my school’s Environmental Club. Last year for this club, I was in charge of planting 200 trees in our community. I do Lincoln Debate for my school’s debate team as well as having played Soccer and participating in Student Government. I am also an anchor on my school’s announcements, the Treasurer for both Athletic Council and my grade level officers. As for honors societies I am the Vice President of SNHS, and a member of both NHS and Mu Alpha Theta. I also compete in the IAC National Science Bee Championships and Ignite STEM competitions. I also enjoy giving back to people in need in my community. I started my own fundraiser and raised over $1000 from my church to help my local food bank. Also, when I appeared on the local TV-show Class-H-Room I donated a portion of the winnings to help people in Ukraine. I enjoy being involved and staying busy because it allows me to meet many new people and forge new friendships. I never would have met any of my best friends if I wasn’t as involved.
Finally, I look forward to TRIP this year because not only is it a great opportunity and experience to learn more, but I get to meet new people from different schools and backgrounds and connect with them and forge friendships.
Hi everyone! My name is Jessie Jin, and I’m a senior at Council Rock High School North. From a young age, I enjoyed exploring the world through science, whether by making my own hand sanitizer and soap mixture or asking why the leaves change color in the fall. In school, I run the club Education Equals Empowerment (E3), which promotes STEM among elementary schoolers by conducting STEM experiments at workshops. Some of our experiments include foil boats with pennies, blood models in bottles, lava lamps, and invisible ink using lemon juice. Likewise, as the president of the Science National Honor Society, I am organizing science workshops for elementary schoolers in the spring. In college, I want to major in biomedical engineering because I hope to design solutions like medical devices or 3D-printed organs to help alleviate medical challenges. Although I have done research at home through science fair projects, with TRIP, I’m excited to conduct research in a lab setting, work on a project with medical implications, and join a family of supportive and like-minded students, mentors, and TAs.
Outside of STEM, music is a big part of my life. I appreciate that music, like science, connects together people of all backgrounds. Since pre-K, I have been playing piano. In school, I play both the flute and viola. I’m also looking forward to the marching band’s tour to Hawaii this spring. As for musical tastes, I prefer classical music. I also enjoy watching TwoSet Violin make classical music more fun and engaging for a modern day audience.
So far in my first week in the lab, I’ve learned how to use micropipettes and make fly food! For my kickoff experiment, I’m testing how valerian and a disrupted circadian rhythm using constant darkness as the stressor affects female fertility for fruit flies. After hearing that keeping hens under constant light can cause them to lay more eggs, I am curious to see whether this claim is true and if it applies to fruit flies as well. The TRIP has only begun. I can’t wait for the upcoming weeks!