Wow, this TRIP really flew by! I can’t express how thankful I am to have met such amazing instructors and friends who helped me grow in not only science but also as a person. I’ll definitely miss working in the lab and sharing great ideas with everybody.
TRIP has taught me important life skills that can be used outside of science, such as time management, when to reach out for help, and how to overcome failures. Even as an individual who is interested in aerospace and engineering, this amazing opportunity really helped me gain scientific research experience, built my communication and teamwork skills, and taught me about effective data analysis and presentation.
Additionally, I realized that research is not just a straightforward path but a winding and turning path with obstacles, failures, and unending discoveries. I would definitely recommend TRIP to any student who is enthusiastic about science and looking to expand their STEM knowledge.
For my independent project, I studied how disrupted circadian rhythms affect the physical and social activity of fruit flies and how the drug, Adrafinil, may be able to reverse these effects. I disrupted the flies’ circadian rhythm by using constant light with a lamp, hindering their sleep cycle. By using the negative geotaxis assay that measures fly locomotion and the social space assay that measures fly anxiety and mood, I collected my data and found some interesting results. I discovered that although Adrafinil is able to counteract the negative effects of a disrupted circadian rhythm to some degree, it is not able to return the flies to their pre-disrupted-circadian-rhythm conditions. With these results, I can conclude that although Adrafinil may be able to benefit a person in the short-term, a good night’s sleep will always be the better choice.