Besides being very dull, the Academic Showcase did not prod me in the right direction for finding a place to do some genetic engineering research. That was very disappointing. However, I did see two friends I made on the Arizona trip, so that was good. On another note, one of my friends said that the Academic Showcase required them to stand for several hours near their projects. That doesn't sound like fun to me. Now I know what I will dread next Spring. Anyhow, onto the interviews!
Elizabeth was an intern at the Maryland Science Center. She worked with school groups and did hands-on activities with children of different age groups. She was really happy that she made a new hands-on activity that had real life examples. There was some research involved and the kids weren't always a walk in the park, but she was still really happy she made a contribution the the Maryland Science Center and Terralink.
There were several parts to Valerie's project. The first part was the observation of the Jupiter's atmosphere through atmospheric photochemical modeling. The second was to find out how use a program that used data gathered from the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn that would show what Titan's atmosphere was like. The third part was to create a slideshow that showed various aspects of Jupiter and Titan for capturing the interest of a public not knowledgeable in her field of research. A pitfall encountered was learning how to use the program. It was very complex and difficult to learn. She said she definitely was happy doing the project as she learned a lot of information about Jupiter and Titan and the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn. She also was happy she made early connections at NASA.
Victoria's project was on trying to maximize screening of a gene coding for a type of cancer known as JMMK by using a primer. Victoria was often frustrated and thought there was a lot of time lost in the research because they had to test the same thing over and over and over again. Victoria really felt like it was a good experience though because she wanted more hands on experience in the biology field.
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