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!
So far, I have gotten comfortable in the lab, and started working on the first assignment,
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.
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.
I am fascinated by anatomy and physiology, from the way that nerve signals pass through the heart to make it beat to the way that myosin and actin interact to make our muscles move. I especially love learning about women's reproductive health, and I participated in the Penn Academy for Reproductive Sciences, a program that taught me so much about women's reproductive system and endocrinology, infertility, epigenetics, and more. It was my first real exposure to a lab environment, and it encouraged me to pursue more research opportunities, which is why I'm attending TRIP! In my free time, I like to play the piano and love to travel. I recently had the chance to go to Peru, where I pet more llamas and alpacas than I could count (they’re so fluffy and adorable!).
My interest in reproductive health is inspired by the global youth-run nonprofit called Period, which provides access to period products for those in need and strives to reduce the stigma and taboo around periods. Many women living in impoverished or homeless situations are not able to afford period products, and are forced to use unsafe and unhygienic methods of taking care of their periods, such as paper bags and other refuse. When I found out about this, I was astounded. Here was one of the most major issues that homeless women face, and yet no one was talking about it due to the stigma that periods carry. Feeling very moved and passionate about bringing these issues to light, I decided to start my own chapter of Period. With Period at Moorestown, I have spread awareness about period poverty throughout my school and community, and have held drives and fundraisers to donate period products to shelters in Camden and Philadelphia.
I am also the treasurer of my school's Urban Challenge Club, a volunteer club dedicated to helping out in food kitchens and homeless shelters in Camden. I am an officer in my school's Math Club, where we compete in competitions against other math teams in the region.
Overall, I’m so excited that I have the opportunity to attend TRIP! I have already learned so much, from anesthetizing the flies to sorting them by gender. I can’t wait to get started on my first experiment, which will test the effects of folic acid and high temperature on female fertility. Stay tuned for the results!