For the summer of 2017, right before my senior year, I was one of the participants of the Liberty Science Center Partners in Science Program, where high schoolers from around the state (and more) were given the opportunity to gain laboratory experience working with a mentor. (For more about this program, click here.)
I originally had all these posts out separately, but they were taking up too much room, so here's a handy dandy composite post that has links to each individual weekly update.
Weeks 0.5 & 1
As most of you know, I am spending this summer as a Liberty Science Center Partners in Science Scholar. I’m working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and 8 weeks this summer, inside a lab at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers. And it is amazingggggggg!!!!! I honestly did not think I’d like it this much. Just in one week I have learned so so much. Ahhhh, I love it. I’m doing real science. Like real science. With a possible global effect. I’m discovering things, making connections, counting cells. That last one doesn’t sound that interesting and you’re right, it’s not, but it’s science! As you can see I am very excited.
Another week has passed by like the blink of an eye (hey, I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it! Sigh, I’m such a nerd) and my experience in a lab has only gotten more interesting and fun. This update will be shorter, considering I’m not going into all the introductory stuff. (In case you missed it, I wrote an update for week 1 with all the intro stuff, check that one out here.
This week was the week of learning. Along with continuing to do the procedures that we had already learned, we learned so so so many new things. Most importantly, we finalized what we’ll be doing for our final “project” that we will eventually present in August during the Liberty Science Center Symposium. This week, because it was another THED week, was also spent working with a lot of other grad, undergrad, and high school students (including one of the smartest people I have ever met). And in case you haven’t read my earlier updates, here’s the first one.
I can’t believe summer is already halfway over! And that I’m only going to be in the lab for 4 more weeks :( But regardless, 4 weeks is better than none; I’m super excited for the next few weeks where we’ll really start working on compiling all our research together for our paper and poster and so forth. As for this week, we did a lot of prep with ourfinal presentation in mind. Lots and lots and lots of IHC. And flow cytometry. And protein assays. But mostly IHC. So much. And along with all of that, there was so much failure this week. Nothing we did this week was a success. It was “You get a failure! You get a failure! Everyone gets a failure and complete waste of time!” Sigh…
Weeks 5 & 6
Honestly, both of these weeks were full of so much of the same things, that after I wrote a week 5 update it didn’t feel like enough information to actually post an entire post. So I decided to combine both of them together. Sorry if these are short or particularly boring (the weeks themselves felt short and particularly boring), but alas, this is a part of science as well.
Weeks 7 & 8 & more (Final Update)
Well, it’s over. 8 weeks of pouring over stained slides, slaving over the VS120, perfecting the poster and my paper, and it’s done. It has definitely been an amazing amazing experience. I practically ended up living in the lab and I did not like waking up at 7 am every morning, but I would not exchange the experience for anything. Plus I loved it so much that I’m now staying there! Until school starts. Besides being an actual part of actual science, I can take so many other valuable lessons from this experience.