Hi! My name is Maria Wahba and I am a rising senior at Harriton High School. In my free time, I love to spend time with my family and friends and make lots of fun memories. I also love traveling and I play the violin and the piano! I was born in Oregon and moved to Ohio in the fifth grade. After that, I moved to Pennsylvania in 6th grade and have been living here ever since! The east coast has been an interesting experience, and to be honest, sometimes I crave the less-intense settings of the West Coast and Midwest.
At school, I play for my school’s tennis team and I am a member of multiple clubs. I am one of the officers of our school’s Med Club, which is great because I am extremely passionate about becoming a doctor. I got involved in TRIP because I am super interested in a future career in medicine and research, and I would love to get more experience in a scientific research environment. I am fascinated by the prospect of helping others through medicine and truly providing excellent patient care to whomever I treat. Although I haven’t decided which specialty yet, a few I am considering are anesthesiology, dermatology, and pediatrics.
I can’t wait to see what I learn through TRIP and to really hone in on my interests so that it can help me with future decisions in my career path!
Hello everyone, my name is Janay Cammock! I’m 16 years old, and a rising Junior at Germantown Friends School. Throughout my life I’ve moved to 3 different states all together. I was born in California then later moved to North Carolina, then finally Philadelphia the home of the TRIP Initiative. Like everyone else that applied to TRIP I have a deep love and interest in the scientific field. For me my love for science stems all the way back into my years in elementary school. When I was younger I would explore the plants around my home and collect them and run my own individual experiments on them, documenting my processes. Even in school my interest in science was well known since I entered in the school science fair every chance I got, as an excuse to feed into my curiosity. As I grew older my interest in experimentation and plants only continued to grow. In middle school the horrors of climate change became apparent which drove me into learning about its negative effects and potential future problems relating to the Earth, and the plants and fungi that continue to grow on it. Though I am mainly more focused on North American plants and fungi since I come in contact with those plants the most. More recently I’ve done my own personal research on plants that can break down plastics. An example of this is Pestalotiopsis microspora, which I have taken great interest in. In school I am also apart of a few clubs such as SAGA (straight and gay alliance) and SISTAS which is a club for woman of color to join and conversation about social and political issues pertaining to those communities. I also really enjoy reading. My favorite genre of books are fantasy and horror though I am trying to branch out to different types of books on the more political side.
Outside of my academic interest, I have deep passionate interest in visual arts and on the lesser scale, fashion. In the time I get I enjoy drawing and painting, my usual mediums are more often physical like with a regular graphite pencil, oil paint, and more recently digital. I find art to be an incredibly fun way to pour out my imagination into an image that can possibly speak to others and translate my ideas to others. During quarantine I continued to hone my skills as an artist. Art has always been a big part of my life so I am happy to have continued improving.
For me TRIP will be an exciting and wonderful introduction to formal lab work and creating my own individual lab project. TRIP will give the opportunity to learn more about science, research, problem solving and give me insight on my career choices for the future.
My name is Carlos Peterson. I am from Philadelphia and I attend school at George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science. My hobbies include playing video games, building models and reading. I play soccer and basketball, both of which I have won multiple championships in. My interests include anime, socializing, and playing with my pets. Some anime that I enjoy are Parasyte the Maxim, Grimgar Fantasy and Ash, and Attack on Titan. So mostly I enjoy more gritty and realistic anime that I can really get attached to. As for video games I mostly play indie games such as Ghostrunner, Katana Zero, Terraria, and Blue Fire the Ori series.
My pets are Midnight and Ricky Bobby. As you can guess Midnight is a black cat and Ricky Bobby is a Tabby cat. Midnight is a normal cat in comparison to Ricky Bobby, he’s always doing something strange. For example instead of walking up to the family like Midnight he just sits far away from us and peeks from a corner. On top of that he can hide anywhere, sometimes in closets or in chairs. With Ricky Bobby everyday there's something new.
Hi! My name is Kat Sliwa, and I am a rising senior at Central Bucks High School South. I’ve been interested in science for most of my life. In fifth grade, all my friends tried to memorize the elements of the periodic table, so I actually did. That spurred me on to read a textbook with information on every single element. Then, in sixth grade, I taught myself atomic structure and bonding for a research project. At that point in time, I still had dreamed of being a writer; but as I grew older, I realized I got bored writing stories that I already knew the ending of. But science was different. I could create a totally original idea and do experiments to see what happens. Since this epiphany, I’ve tried to get a lot more involved in science. I have doubled- (or tripled-) up in science classes every year since sophomore year, and I’ve joined lots of clubs like ChemClub and STEM research club to explore my interests. When TRIP came along, it seemed like another perfect way for me to get hands-on experience in the lab!
One of the other main reasons I am interested in science is my own personal medical struggles. While I’ve had a myriad of medical issues in the past couple years, the most prominent are my migraines that I struggle with on a day-to-day basis and concussions which I have had three of within two years of high school. These are medical conditions that are still not understood very well. Their treatments change year-to-year with new discoveries and drugs and I would like to be a part of those discoveries. Conditions of the brain like migraines and concussions affect so many people and I want to be able to conduct research that makes an impact on those communities.
Outside of science, I have a plethora of other hobbies (which you can imagine take up most of my time outside of school). I have been figure skating for the past decade and I’ve even been to the national Synchronized Skating Championships three times! Since my rink is my second home, I’ve learned pretty much everything about life from skating: perseverance, hard-work, stress-management, along with leadership and public speaking from coaching. The rink was even one of the first places I started asking “why?” and “how?” (much to the frustration of my coach who was used to skaters just “doing” what she said and not asking questions). Besides skating, I also play the viola in my school’s chamber orchestra and made district orchestra this past year. Due to the pandemic, there was no festival for district orchestra, but I’m really looking forward to regular concerts and festivals next year! One last notable interest is my love for quirky accessories. I love the uniqueness of them and it's fun to see what outrageous things I can dig up on the internet! Uno card earrings are the best way to spice up any outfit.
Even though I’m pretty much always busy with skating, having a migraine, or scouring Etsy for the perfect new pair of earrings, I knew I had to make time to participate in TRIP. I am super excited to design and execute my own original research project and learn important skills for a career in science. Even though I’ve only had one day of TRIP so far, I feel like I already learned a lot and I’m excited to see how far TRIP can take me!
Hey Everyone!! My name is Abe Eldo, and I am a recent graduate of Council Rock High School North. I was born in New Jersey but moved to Pennsylvania when I was five. I am attending the University of Pittsburgh in the fall, majoring in neuroscience. In high school, I was a two year member of the science fair club. In this club, I was able to conduct experiments that studied habituation in the slime mold Physarum polycephalum and acclimatization to a magnetic field in Drosophila melanogaster. I also enjoyed playing varsity volleyball throughout high school.
Volleyball taught me valuable lessons about leadership and teamwork, traits that have carried over to the lab as well.
Outside of academics, I LOVE exploring the outdoors. I make regular visits to Tyler State Park and enjoy exploring the various trails hidden amongst the trees. I was lucky enough to spend a week in Vermont’s Lake Saint Catherine this summer, a beautiful lake with scenic kayaking and hiking. I also enjoy keeping two fish tanks. Fish and aquatic plant keeping has been a hobby of mine for about two years now, and it has further reinforced in me the fragility of our environment. Whenever I see or do something that could be hostile to the environment, I think of my fish and how easily they could be harmed by such a small infraction.
This was one of the main reasons I applied to TRIP: to gain exposure to science outside of school. "
Apart from my activities in school, I am also extremely committed to playing the Chinese violin (yes this does exist), otherwise known as the erhu. I have been playing the instrument since I was 5 and ever since then, I’ve grown an appreciation for the instrument that I never truly understood as a child. Aside from connecting with my culture, playing the erhu acts as a stress reliever for me and I’ve even gotten the chance to participate in competitions with it! Another interest I spend outside of school is babysitting. Growing up, whenever my relatives were out, they would entrust me with watching over their children and even pay me money in the process. Babysitting was the ultimate pleasure growing up; I felt like I held accountability and trust whenever I was given the chance. Spending time with my younger cousins was a major trigger to my future goal of becoming a pediatrician.
With my love for science along with my deep desire to explore social interactions, what could be a more perfect opportunity than the TRIP Initiative! I’m interested in studying behavioral health in college, so what better way to prepare for that than working with fruit flies. In the future, I aspire to pursue a career in pediatrics, despite not settling on a specialty, so being a part of the TRIP community will give me insight into the research side of science as well giving me exposure to what it means to be a leader in the scientific community. Within the last few weeks, we’ve learned how to micropipette, observe the fruit fly life cycle personally from our homes, sort male and female flies, and have even performed our own behavioral assays! Although it’s only been 3 weeks of TRIP, I have met new friends that share similar passions, been mentored by 2 of the best instructors, and have even worked through some failures that come naturally with experimentation. It’s only been a few weeks, but I can’t wait to see what’s next!
Hi everyone!! I’m Nadija, a 17 year old junior at Masterman High School. I was born in a small country called Albania and moved to Philly when I was three years old. I have lived in northeast Philadelphia ever since!
Just like my TRIP friends, I love science! While I always had an interest in science, I vividly remember the moment when I fell in love with the field. Eighth grade physical science, my teacher was briefly introducing the concept of quantum mechanics to our class, and discussed wave particle duality. My tiny 13 year old brain was overwhelmed yet craved more information immediately- how could such a paradox exist in these tiny building blocks of matter that create everything around us? This was my first introduction to what I think are the best parts of science: how counterintuitive it can be and how no matter how knowledgeable and educated you could be on a topic, there is always something new and exciting to explore within it. I have always been a curious person from childhood, and I think this is something that attracts me to science greatly. Naturally, I’m a part of my school's Science Olympiad team, and compete in the chemistry and astronomy study events- both are my favorite topics in science to study! Aside from science, I’m in our World Affairs club; staying informed on the world’s news is very important to me. I also really enjoy studying philosophy, the last philosophical book I read was L’Etrangere by Albert Camus- definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting read!
In addition to my academic interests, I have many creative hobbies as well! I enjoy drawing in my spare time; my favorite mediums are paper and pencil, watercolor, and digital. I also have picked up photo editing and graphic design and have fun messing around with images and designs on my computer. In quarantine, I took online classes and learned how to play guitar (acoustic)! It’s a beautiful instrument and I love how there’s such a wide variety of sounds you can create with it, and I can’t wait to get my hands on an electric one too, a bass eventually as well! I love listening to music too, and have a wide taste, anywhere from American rap to Brazilian bossa nova to Japanese 80s city pop to Albanian jazz and French hip hop!
At this point in the program, we have all completed our first introduction experiments, whose topics were assigned to us. This was my first time conducting an experiment in the lab! It’s so exciting to think that by our second blog, we’ll have begun our independent(!!) projects, and I’ll have designed and created my own experiment by then!! See you all then in the next blog :)
Hello everyone, and welcome to my first blog post!! My name is Harini Shankar, and I am a junior at Central Bucks High School South. To start off with a short introduction about me, I am a super energetic person when I’m in a good mood. I love listening to music, and I make new playlists for myself on a weekly basis. I’ve been a dancer since I was 4 years old, so I do spend a lot of my time dancing. I also work at a tutoring center, and I teach kindergarteners. Like any other junior, I have truckloads of schoolwork that takes up the bulk of my time. I love getting involved in fundraising because it gives me a sense of purpose and lets me support causes greater than myself. And of course, my favorite activity every week is spending my Saturdays at TRIP😊! When I’m not doing any of these things, I’m either snacking on food, spending time with my family, whiling time away with my friends, or watching Netflix (Greys Anatomy always).
As long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to go into science. Science is fascinating because there is an unending amount of knowledge that can be gained. That’s precisely why I applied for TRIP: to learn more about science, research, and achieve a better understanding of what I want to do with the rest of my life. Science is so diverse and there’s an ample number of occupations that can be chosen. For the longest time, I have wanted to be a doctor. However, taking different classes in school has shown me other fields in science may be just as intriguing. Research is such an integral part of science, and I hope TRIP will teach me more about research and allow me to evaluate my interest in it.
TRIP is a way for me to get a hands-on feel into a scientific research project and I am incredibly excited and grateful for the experience!
Hello everyone. My name is Zlata Semianiuk and I'm a senior at William Tennent High School. I spent the majority of my life in Belarus (or that little dictatorial country everyone mistakes with Russia or Ukraine). Back at home, I was an active participant in science- and language-related Olympiads in fields like Biology, Chemistry, Russian language. Here, I take part in the Environmental and Science clubs and serve as a member of PAFA's (or Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts) Youth Council. As someone who had a chance to partake in courses like AP Seminar and AP Research, I have a great interest in almost any scholarly researchable subject matter ranging from politology to fine arts.
Since I'm a rather reserved individual, in my free time, I enjoy making art, reading, and generally engaging in quiet activities. And partially because of the aforementioned trait of mine, I really wanted to join the TRIP Initiative to improve my public speaking skills and develop a personally meaningful research project while also learning in the surroundings divorced from the usual competitive way-too-many-students classroom environment.
Upon completing my first few weeks in this program, I feel at home. The mentors and students alike have formed a close and friendly space that allows us to be explorative and not be afraid of making mistakes. Despite many hurdles I’ve met in this brief period of time (I had to miss two in-person classes), I enjoy every bit of this program and hope to continue to be inspired on my path of research in the TRIP Initiative.