Fifteen weeks filled with fly experimenting, micropipetting, and data graphing later-- we finished this TRIP! Reflecting on my experience in this program, I have learned and gained so much new knowledge that I will be walking away with. I still endearingly remember the first session, where I was learning the laboratory basics with my peers. It’s crazy to think that I walked into TRIP not even knowing what a micropipette was, and now I’ll be leaving having completed my own independent research project!!
As I mentioned in my last blog, my project focused on researching if blue light emitted from digital screens can impact learning in developing individuals. Using larvae in the larval locomotion assay, my data consistently proved that blue light negatively impacts learning! Who knew! But that’s not the full story; my larvae which were only exposed to light while learning did the worst while my larvae under constant blue light did better than them-- surprisingly! So good news for all the teens stuck with hours of online school, it doesn’t harm your learning *as* much as I predicted it would, bad news is it still has negative effects on our learning to some extent. The connection between blue light (and different frequencies of light in general for that matter) is not extensively researched, but with my data bringing up a possible connection it would be very interesting to see more in depth information on this.
On the surface, if you were to look at all that I’ve accomplished during my several months in TRIP, you might say I just gained my first experience being in a lab, more comfort in completing hands-on science, or better time management skills. But my achievements exceed this, as I’ve seen myself grow and develop as a person through spending time with Dr. Leystra, Dr. Purdy, and my like-minded peers. My first day there I was a very self-conscious and unconfident person, never being sure of my actions and constantly self-doubting. Over the course of thirteen Saturday mornings, I grew confidence and certainty over my work, realizing that I had a unique perspective to bring to the lab and that my thoughts held value too. Helping my peers in their projects and receiving help from them created a positive feedback loop that improved our performance and ultimately bonded us together as friends. I walked into TRIP hesitant and apprehensive, excited for this new opportunity but doubtful if I would be able to reach its high standards. I now leave it with seven new friends, an improved mindset, and tons of cherished experiences. Thank you TRIP for an invaluable time!!