I am now about halfway through my TRIP journey now and it feels great! At the beginning I was worried that it would be super challenging and it was a bit at first but I've learned so much. I did my introductory experiment on Geotaxis, it being my first every experiment with any kind of animal. But it turned out to be a very fun and informative experience on how flies react to drugs and stressors, giving me some basic ideas on what I wanted to do for my independent project. For my independent project my question is “How does caffeine affect flies in isolation”, I chose this because I think isolation is a very interesting question and the fact that Covid shut down the world for a while is what led me to think about this topic, the topic is relevant and fresh to the minds of everyone because of the Covid lock down and how much everyone likes coffee (Me included).
Hello, my name is Janiya, I'm 17 years old. I have just come from Martin Luther King high school. Although it is not the best school in Philadelphia, I try to make the most out of it. Prior to going there I went to Community Academy of Philadelphia where I was a part of the National Honors Society.
I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers. I'm from West Oak Lane, Philadelphia. I'll be a lifeguard working for Parks & Recs this summer. I really am a fiend for anime, like I really can't get enough of the stuff. In my eyes, it is one of man's best creations. And if you let me, I can talk about it all day. I'm so excited to meet and work with everyone this summer.
Hi everyone! My name is Laney Riley and I just graduated as Valedictorian from the Academies @ Roxborough High School. I’ve lived in Philly my entire life, however, I love to travel and explore new places. During my time at Roxborough, I dedicated myself to my academics, as well as joining as many extracurriculars as I possibly could. At Roxborough, I was a part of the Biotechnology pathway. Biotechnology is a science that uses living things or parts of them in order to create products that benefit people. This can be anything from makeup to life-saving treatments for diseases. During this time, I learned so much about lab practices and had access to information about outside programs that would benefit my education, such as TRIP. I will forever be grateful for the Biotechnology program that helped me so much.
When I wasn’t in the classroom, I was constantly staying busy with extracurriculars. I participated in the debate team, was a STEAM scholar, assisted teachers when needed, was a member of my school’s GSA, had a job, and completed multiple internships/side programs. Some of these include the Immersion Science Program (another cancer research program that sadly got cut short because of Covid), a WorkReady internship, an internship at the Schuylkill Center, a Bioethics internship, and a genetics lab that branched off of the Bioethics internship, as well as continuing art and dance classes from my childhood. Staying so busy, as well as going to high school was a challenge and could be very stressful at times, however, I am so glad I stuck with it. Not only did it help when applying to colleges, but I also was given a wide range of experiences that helped me decide what I want to do with my future.
When I was a kid, I loved science. I couldn’t wait to learn more and I still feel the same now. While it frustrates me, I love that science is so open-ended. There are so many possibilities. It piqued my interest in a way like none other. Science allows me to solve real-world problems while also using my creative side in coming up with ways to solve those real-world problems. It feels so amazing to have the same passion as my childhood self, though it has shifted slightly. As a kid, I just wanted to do science, which makes sense because I was a kid and didn’t know all of the options out there. As of now, I want to study neurological disorders on the rarer side that don’t get the attention they deserve. I’ve yet to decide if I want to go the med school route, however, I am confident that I want to help others.
I’m so beyond excited to get into the lab and meet my fellow TRIP-mates.
I’m so beyond excited to get into the lab and meet my fellow TRIP-mates. The next few weeks are going to be so exciting and I can’t wait to learn as much as I can. I can’t wait to share my experiences with others, as well as learn about theirs and hear different perspectives. So much will be happening within the next few weeks and it’s so exhilarating. TRIP will be amazing enough, and then the day after the symposium, I will be flying to Los Angeles to start my college education at the University of Southern California. Currently, my major is Biological Sciences, however, I am heavily considering switching it to Neuroscience, with a possible double major in Psychology and minoring in Forensics & Criminality, as well as Gender & Sexuality Studies. Life is about to get super exciting and I’m so genuinely excited and happy!
Hello! My name is Anjali Verma and welcome to my life…
It is rare when you walk in the room (of complete strangers!) and you instantly have a connection with them, that is what yesterday’s first day of TRIP felt like! We are all radiating with passion that comes with learning, excited to learn more about anything and everything that comes our way.
I didn’t mix the food with the drug properly, but that was where I truly got to see the beauty in failure— when I picked myself back up.
Yesterday may have only been our first day, but we have learned so much more about ourselves, others, and the world around us. We explored how to use a pipette and a micropipette (an instrument I didn’t even know existed until TRIP) and mixed our own fruit fly food for our Introductory Project. My project will focus on, “How does Rhodiola and head trauma affect the mood of a Drosophila melanogaster (also known as the fruit fly)?” The first time around, I didn’t mix the food with the drug properly, but that was where I truly got to see the beauty in failure— when I picked myself back up. I was already immersed into new content such as calculating solutions and dilutions, and it is amazing to see how much you are able to learn in such a short amount of time. Not to mention, I now have fruit flies living on the mantle in my family room to observe over the week.
Along with school work, I love being involved in my school and community. You can find me in the pool as a swimmer (butterfly is my favorite) and on the field as my school's varsity lacrosse goalie (although sometimes, I am still afraid of the ball!). I am also passionate about American Sign Language and immersing myself in Deaf Culture through making music more accessible. Outside of athletics, I am involved in the band and choir ensembles at my school, our debate team, Student Council, Mini-THON, and as a partner in Unified Sports! Next year, I will serve as Officer at Large in our chapter of Key Club, a Chief Science Officer (a class representative that aims to bridge STEM into the community) as well as the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils 2023 State President (currently president-elect)! I am excited to be working on a Statewide Mental Health Initiative in schools to be implemented next year through PASC!
I have always been excited about science, so when I was Googling summer science programs I instantly fell in love with the TRIP Initiative. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to apply (especially after working with fruit flies in class this year)! I am absolutely thrilled to have the honor to collaborate with young minds that share the same passion for science that I do! I hope to go into a STEM career and this is such an amazing opportunity to explore my interests, and learn and grow as a scientist!Thank you for reading, I can’t wait to document this 5-week journey and be a part of this already so memorable of an experience. I am so grateful to be a part of the TRIP family!
It is hard to believe that my TRIP is almost over. The last couple weeks have been packed with repetitions of my assay, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions. We are finally reaching the final countdown for the final symposium, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic to share my findings with the TRIP community.
For my independent project, I decided to compare the effects of nicotine to the effects of vape juice on sociability. My experimental groups consisted of vape with nicotine, vape without nicotine, nicotine sulfate, and most importantly, the control. I was interested in this topic because I constantly catch peers vaping in and out of school and I wanted to know how it was affecting them. So little is known about vape juice itself and side effects are commonly overlooked. Why sociability though? Well, a known side effect of nicotine is that it temporarily boosts your mood, but when going through withdrawal, the opposite occurs. This led me to wonder if vape juice and/or vape juice combined with nicotine would have those same effects.
Using the Social Space assay to gather my data, I collected results that matched my initial hypothesis! The vape with nicotine had the most social flies, while the control group had the least social. The vape without nicotine and nicotine sulfate had about equal sociability. While I had predicted this finding, I was still shocked to see it was accurate. It is crazy a drug like nicotine sulfate and vape juice can have similar side effects, but yet there are so many users that don’t know this! I hope I can spread word about my findings and help make others aware of the scary, yet true realities of vape juice!
While I am sad my TRIP journey is coming to an end, I am so happy to have had such an experience. The people I have met on this journey are unforgettable and I am very fortunate to have worked and collaborated with them. I learned how to persevere through failures and how to be optimistic when results aren’t as I expected. If I could relive this experience, I would do it in a heartbeat. Thank you, TRIP!
Last time, I presented you all with my independent research question: Do Metformin, Maca, and Vitex impact female fertility? Due to the high prevalence of fertility complications in the United States that are present due to a broad range of factors, including age, diabetes, and other health conditions, and problems with ovulation, and the variety of drugs that are available to combat this struggle, my research has high applicability. While there is substantial evidence showing the positive impact of Metformin on female fertility, especially among women with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), Maca and Vitex, both herbal, over-the-counter supplements, have inconclusive impacts on fertility.
This program has been one of the most remarkable experiences of my high school career. While, yes, I worked on essential skills that can help me in the lab and academically, such as drug calculations, pipetting, and conducting assays, that was not it. I have grown as a public-speaker that can communicate her experiment and procedure clearly to the audience. I have become better at time management through defining how my limited time each day would be spent each minute prior to even entering the laboratory. Most importantly, I have improved my ability to adapt and quickly change course when something did not go as planned. I could not have reached this destination without the TRIP of the last 12 weeks with my peers, TAs, and Dr. Purdy and Dr. Leystra.
Hi everyone! My name is Shawnette James, and I am a recent graduate of Masterman High School, and I will be attending the University of Pittsburgh in the fall to major in Neuroscience. In school I participated in various clubs, such as the African American Cultural Committee, Girls Varsity Soccer, Step Club, Pep Squad, Yearbook Club, and Yoga Club. None of these clubs exactly align with one another, but that is because I focused more on my creative interests than my academic interests. I think I took the opportunity to explore my interests, but they are all activities I would like to be a part of while in college as well.
My first day at TRIP was interesting to say the very least. We were able to get right to using lab tools and skills to prepare food for our future fruit fly experiments, but were also given a vial of fruit flies to take home and observe. I think these two things were my favorite parts of the first day because I really enjoy hands-on lab work, especially if it is contributing to a bigger idea or project, and making the fruit fly food helped me practice my skills with making solutions. I think that the fly vial we were given also fills my enjoyment of hands-on work because we have something that will soon be changing right in front of us to observe, and I’m excited to see what new changes I will find.
Why TRIP? I wanted to fill my summer with a meaningful activity that revolved around my interests in STEM. While brainstorming ideas, my sister’s boyfriend recommended looking into Fox Chase, since he completed one of their high school research programs a few years ago. This led me to discover TRIP – a program that would allow me to explore my passions in math and science by conducting a unique independent investigation. The fact that I would be able to research my own hypothesis was fascinating to me. It is not often that a high schooler has the opportunity to explore a field of personal interest with access to highly qualified mentors and tons of lab equipment. Additionally, I am currently unsure of which STEM major I would like to pursue in college, so I hope that TRIP provides me with some guidance in that aspect.
Well, when I said time was flying by, I definitely was not kidding. I remember vividly how slow the four hours went by on my first session in the lab. Now, four hours itself is going by so fast that I am losing track of time. I can’t believe TRIP is coming to an end! It felt like just yesterday when we were all coming to the lab and learning so many new techniques.
It’s been quite a while since you last heard from me, so let me catch you up. These past few weeks, I began my independent research project! I was debating on what I wanted to study for quite some time, but I finally decided to test the effects that different doses of iron have on memory and cognitive functionality! Unlike humans who have red blood cells, fruit flies have hemolymph. Iron is known to increase blood flow in humans which is supposed to increase cognitive development and attention. But, since fruit flies do not have blood, I was interested in investigating the direct effects that iron has on the brains of fruit flies, particularly larvae, through testing memory. For my project, I gave fruit flies three different doses of iron (1, 2, and 10 pills) to test how the different doses affect the memory of the larvae (early wormlike stage of fruit flies).
I was interested in investigating the direct effects that iron has on the brains of fruit flies, particularly larvae, through testing memory.
After weeks of research and analyzing data, I got results! And… the results that I got correlated with my hypothesis! Although my data showed that there was not much difference between the different doses of iron, as I increased the iron dosage up to 2 pills, memory did increase, and when I raised the dosage to 10 pills, memory began to decrease. Even though my results correlated with my hypothesis, the percentage of flies that had intact memory for all three experimental conditions was quite similar. Thus, it’ll take more testing with greater doses to find out if iron actually does affect memory and cognitive functionality.
I’m grateful for hearing about TRIP because it has opened my eyes to a world beyond just experiments in a high school lab
I’m grateful for hearing about TRIP because it has opened my eyes to a world beyond just experiments in a high school lab. From stepping into the lab on the first day, I embarked on an amazing journey now leading me up to preparing for my Final Symposium presentation. I look forward to sharing the research I have conducted these past few weeks to a network of TRIP students, teachers, and alumni. Apart from science, through TRIP, I was able to network with many new people, create some great friendships, and work with phenomenal mentors who I hope to keep in touch with. I am thankful to be a part of the TRIP program and community, and hope to continue doing research in the future.
Over the past several weeks I have been working with my fellow TRIP students, TAs, and instructors in a welcoming learning environment to expand on my interests in science. Throughout my time here at TRIP, I have made valuable friendships with the people I have worked with. I am very grateful for this opportunity and space to learn, grow, and dive into my passions. Compared to the first week, I think, as well as the other students, have come a long way in our scientific journey. From learning how to sort fruit flies, making food, and collecting data, to now researching, learning, and presenting our own independent projects–I think TRIP has developed my sense of the lab tremendously.
The risk-taking assay is a newer experiment in which I tested how many times the flies would cross the center. In this case, the risk was being exposed to direct light under a lamp, and the reward was yeast paste. As we know, if we are not very comfortable with an environment, we tend to stick around the sides. However, if one is more comfortable and extroverted, they will be more likely to move more towards the center. As drugs, I used black tea, and an amino acid prominent in black tea called L-theanine. After testing my theory, I uncovered some amazing results. The black tea itself had somewhat of an impact, however both the L-theanine and black teas results were noticeably larger than the controls and any other vials. The results told me that black tea, combined with L-theanine, does in fact impact risk-taking behaviors.
I want to thank everyone who helped me get where I am today with my final independent project results. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity and the time I spent here in the lab.