As the last session of TRIP has finished, I sift through my hard-earned data, I put the finishing touches on my presentations, and I reflect on how far I've come since the first session in July. Okay, I’m sorry that was mushy.
Before I start talking about how much I am going to miss this program, lets talk about the end of my independent project. So I left off here talking about my plans for my independent, a little larvae locomotion here, maybe a centrophobism test there, microbiome assay there. A lot has changed. I’ve embraced the changes though and I’ve learned that’s just science. So what did I end up doing for my experiments? What did I actually test? Well, 28 vials of and over 1600 flies later… I finished by performing the negative geotaxis assay on adult male flies, and then I used the same flies in the microbiome assay to test the effects BPA and BPA and kimchi (contains probiotics) has on the health and gut microbiome of the fly. I remember after the first day I tested negative geotaxis, I felt so stressed and extremely despised doing the assay, especially the “sorting on ice” part. I felt my data had all types of variables affecting it like using flies that I accidentally got its leg stuck to itself so it couldn’t jump…. Anyway, I talked to Dr. Gardiner the next day and she could totally tell I really did not want to continue with the assay. However, she told me to do it again and see if I get any better results. Wow, I am really glad I stuck with the assay, because it ended up yielding some of my most interesting results! And overtime, with the help of Dr. Purdy and Dr. Gardiner I learned helpful techniques so I wouldn’t despise sorting on ice anymore.
TRIP has honestly taught me so much, and my learning has not been limited to just science. I’ve learned time management skills, when I need to reach out and ask for help, and most importantly how to bounce back when things don’t always go as planned. As for the more science-y part of my learning, asking scientific questions and being able to quench my curiosity by conducting my own experiments all the while working alongside other amazing TRIP students and incredibly brilliant instructors and TAs is an experience you truly cannot beat. This program has opened my perspective to the science field and has showed me science does not just mean scary formulas and calculating the speed of light. It involves so much creativity, communication, and fast thinking that I never would have discovered if I had not done this program. If you are interested in applying to this program, I HIGHLY recommend it! :) It is pretty intense, i’ll admit that, but as my first experience as a researcher (while still in High School which is pretty crazy) I am so grateful I got the opportunity to be apart of this program and will never forget the amazing memories I have made at TRIP.
P.S. Please enjoy the fabulous pictures we took on the last few sessions of TRIP