Okay. So. Can anyone tell me how this is the last week of TRIP? I feel sad not knowing when I can bully fruit flies again (yes, bullying). Just kidding (or am I?). Anyway, TRIP really has taught me a lot of things. In the beginning, I had a lot of self doubt in everything I was doing, but along the journey Dr. Purdy and Dr. Leystra really encouraged me and boosted my confidence. I’m also gradually realizing more and more every Saturday how grateful and thankful I am for TRIP. This free program prioritizes the ambitions and passions of a young scientist and sets a spark in many teenagers. I’ve learned serious things like how to micropipette, dilute solutions, and perform several assays, but also funny things like how flies were able to get drunk.
So what am I doing as of now? I have finished my introductory project and am currently revising my presentation for the final symposium for my independent project on Red Ginseng. Like I mentioned before in my last blog, my parents are huge believers in Red Ginseng and me and my brother would be forced to consume it on a daily basis. So, I began to wonder if Red Ginseng actually had any health benefits, and hence, my experimental question for my independent project was born, “Can Red Ginseng help counteract the effects of sleep deprivation on health?” I chose sleep deprivation as the stressor because it is a huge problem that plagues not only high school teens, but adults all over the world. And, one of the huge claims of the effects of Red Ginseng was that it could boost energy. So in order to determine whether that might be true, I tested and predicted that if sleep deprived flies were given Red Ginseng, their mobility would increase.
Out of all the moments at TRIP, one of my most favorite moments was near the beginning (wait, maybe not in TRIP, but still), when I had to bring a vial of fruit flies home to observe. My mother had a horrid look on her face, and she begged me to throw it out. Now, when I came home from the last week of TRIP (in the lab), I brought home 12 vials of fruit flies. This time, both my parents freaked out. “You better not bring that to the restaurant!” As if I was going to. “Are you sure they won’t fly out?” They will, the Red Ginseng gave them superhuman strength to push off the cotton plug on top. “Put them in your room! If they fly out at night, we know it won’t crawl into our mouths!” Actually, I’ve heard certain insects taste like nuts, maybe fruit flies will taste like pistachios or peanuts. It was funny seeing their dramatic reactions and I’ll miss provoking them from time to time.
Lastly, I want to thank the instructors, Dr. Purdy and Dr. Leystra, the TAs, Matt Tang, Nadija Suljac, and Z Semianiuk, my TRIP peers, any William Tennent teachers or staff, and really, anyone that has helped me mentally and emotionally through every moment of TRIP. It could be from even before the program started, like during the application process, to when the program has ended, like receiving any feedback. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at the final symposium in a couple of days! See you all then!