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Spring Project Conclusion

I chose to do my project on making a mirror glaze cake! A mirror glaze is a very shiny glaze made of white chocolate, sugar and gelatin that gets poured over a frosted cake. I put a lot of time into researching how to make the glaze specifically. I found out that unless your glaze was at a perfect 95 degrees, it was not going to look right. This proved to be my biggest challenge in the whole process. The thermometer I was using was not labeled in a very organized way, which made it hard to read quickly. The glaze mixture cooled very fast but it was still a little bit too hot when I poured it over because the glaze went on too thin and some parts of the frosting were showing through. The pandemic posed a slight problem as well because if I found myself out of one small ingredient, I had to look for a different recipe. This applied mostly to the cake base itself. When making a cake from scratch there’s always a hundred different recipes out there for the type of cake you’re looking for which was very helpful.

Baking has always been one of my favorite things to do, with all the free time I have now that classes are done I would like to get back into it. My grandmother used to bake cakes professionally and they were always so beautiful. She passed a couple of weeks ago which made this cake very special to me, I wanted to make something she would be proud of. My time management for this project was sporadic. I found my recipes and did my research at the beginning of the original spring break, and I did not end up making the cake until the weekend before finals. The large gap was due mostly to adjusting to online learning and the challenges associated with the pandemic. For the capstone project, I want to make a set schedule to help me get things done with enough time to plan for something going wrong.

Through the process of this particular cake I learned a lot. There are a lot of little steps that made a difference in the overall outcome, which I think can be applied to learning lots of other things as well. For the recipe I found, a lot of the ingredients needed to be at room temperature before you combined everything together. This small detail really helps all of the ingredients incorporate better and contributes to the overall consistency, without this step you may be left with a more chunky batter. I thought that was very interesting because I had never baked anything with room temperature eggs or milk. I also mentioned before that the glaze mixture needed to be at a specific temperature before it was poured over which contributed to the over all look of the cake. I would make a mirror glaze cake again in the future. I choose blues and greens for this glaze but there are so many color combinations I can try in the future.

Spring Semester Project

For my semester project I am going to learn how to mirror glaze a cake. Ever since I was young I have always loved baking. I’m very passionate about baking and being able to be creative with what I am making. Creating something like a cake from scratch and being able to decorate it however you want is one of my fav0rite ways to represent myself. One of the styles of cakes that I have been interested in for a while is a mirror glaze cake. I‘m choosing this for my project because it is hard to find time anymore to be able to bake things. If you don’t know what a mirror glaze cake is here is a photo for reference. In the process of learning how to make the cake itself I would also like to explore a little bit of the science behind it. For example, why certain ingredients have specific outcomes in the baking process.

Diversity

Diversity is a huge part of everyday life, especially on such a large campus like Ohio State. It is also plays a large role in workplace interactions which is important for our futures. Diversity places a big part in everyones everyday life, but it is something that not a lot of people will always acknowledge. Some aspects of diversity people avoid talking about because they’re afraid of making other people uncomfortable.

Earlier today I went to a seminar that taught me a lot about diversity. There are many different aspects that make up diversity and it can be through of differently by each and every person. With such a big campus there are a lot of different people here who are all unique. Keeping an open mind when meeting new people is very important to make sure everyone feels included. The speaker mentioned a lot of different things that people may identify with; things like gender, race, religion and ideas like such. In todays era, these things are sometimes hard to talk about because you don’t want to offend anyone. However, one of the main ideas of this seminar was that it’s good to talk about these things and recognize them.

Acknowledging that everyone is different and comes from different places, with different ideas is really important. Everyones differences is what makes this world extremely unique. If everyone were the same there would be no new ideas or no creativity. The seminar was very thoughtful and a lot of times the instructor promoted us to think about some questions. It made me think about how many other perspectives there are out there in the world and how easy it is to only consider your own view. It even made me think about aspects of identity that I haven’t thought about before, like being able bodied. It is often easy for people to only focus on their own perspective which can give a blind side to other ideas.

There are many ways on campus to get involved with diversity and learn more about identity. The multicultural center has lots of events, like the one I attended, and more that cover lots of different topics. For different months there are different topics the multicultural center will hold events on. I would like to attend more events myself to be able to learn more about different peoples identities. There are also lots of events in the residence halls that support learning about diversity. Recently there was an event held about different kinds of cultural foods and there are some events that serve to teach residents more about different religions people practice. There are many ways to learn more and I will definitely be getting more involved.

STEM Seminar

As the year goes on I am learning more about the countless thing this university has to offer. For this post, we were encouraged to explore a STEM related seminar that was being held at the university. Every week and for almost any major there are seminars that are held around campus. A lot of them are geared towards graduate students in that area of study, which could make it hard for someone like me to understand. The seminars are usually held by a department and the person that speaks is typically someone talking about their research.

When I was looking through the sessions I read over all the descriptions in detail. I really wanted to try and pick a seminar I thought I would be able to at least take something away from. Many of the topics of the seminars were very interesting. The one I chose was the BioPhysics seminar, Trade-offs in the Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance. Based off the description I thought it was interesting, and I had some idea of what antibiotic resistance is and how it can be observed. I was excited to go to the seminar and be able to learn something without the traditional classroom setting.

I arrived to the seminar a little bit early just to make sure I was in the right place, since I had never been to the building before. I only had arrived 15 minutes early but there was no one to be found in the lecture room. However, slowly but surely more people arrived to the session. One of my first observations was the ratio of
males to females that were attending the seminar. There were far less women in the room, which I feel tends to be a trend in some STEM fields like Physics. I really enjoy being in a STEM field myself and I love that even though women may be the minority in their field they can identify with that. Often times that helps them excel and be able to empower other women who may be pursuing a career in a similar field. There were, what I assumed to be, mostly graduate students, and professors that also were attending this seminar.

When the presenter introduced himself he talked a lot about his eduction, where he worked and where he did the research that was the premise of the seminar. The PowerPoint he went through was very easy to follow and emphasized the important findings. The presentation went over research about how the bacterial species reacted to different applied drugs and the components of those drugs that cause it to react and adapt the way it did. I found it very interesting that they were able to break it down to the point where they knew the exact proteins that were producing this biological response in resistance. From this his team was able to develop a drug that had the most optimal components to make sure there is the lowest chance of the species developing resistance to the drug. I was really glad I was able to take something away from this seminar even if I wasn’t able to understand every single thing that was talked about.

Non-Academic Resources

There are lots of resources on campus that are available to students. In addition to the academic resources, like the Math and Statistics Learning Center or any of the other many learning centers for any subject, there are lots of things students can utilize that are outside of the academic realm. Places like the Younkin Success Center offer career coaching services and resume building work shops. The student health center is also a great place to go, you can get health coaching and vaccinations. One of my favorite non-academic things to do on campus is go to group workout sessions at either the North Recreation Center or the RPAC.

Everyday all of the recreation centers around campus post a different schedule for all the group classes offered that day. I love that I can always find something active to do that will fit into my schedule whenever I want it to. The recreation centers offer classes that fit anyone’s fitness level range. I was really apprehensive to go to a class at first because I had never attended any yoga or cycling classes before. The first class I ever attended was a sunrise yoga class. Every instructor is trained to uplift you while you’re in class and that instantly made any apprehension I had disappear. As the class went on I realized how open the environment was and did not feel judged at all. The classes felt very individualistic but there was still a group atmosphere.

After I attended first group fitness class I knew it was going to be the best way for me to keep active. I felt so accomplished when I left the room. Some of my favorite classes to attend are early in the morning. My classes for the day don’t start until 11:30 in the morning but I still like to start my day early. The classes in the morning leave me so refreshed and relaxed as I start my day; exercise is one of the healthiest way to release stress. In the past couple weeks I have found that the Monday morning yoga classes help me start my week. I also routinely go to cycling classes. The fast paced environment helps me push though it and helps me take a break from all my school work. The instructors are so encouraging which helps me give all my focus into what I am doing. I am very glad I learned about the group classes that are offered. I am a person who is very motivated when there are other people around me also working towards the same goal. At the end of the day, the group fitness classes are one of my biggest motivators throughout my week and the best way for me to step away from my school work for a bit.

Student Organization

There are lots of ways to get involved on campus. When I went to the huge involvement fair at the beginning of the year I was very intimidated. Looking around at the literal hundreds of organizations to join, I was intimidated and had no idea where to even start looking. Going into the year everyone had recommended doing at least one social, academic, or outreach organization, and not to just pile on academic clubs because you need a break from that atmosphere. I was unsure of how I was going to balance the workload before the year started, but now that I know the routine of college, I have realized that participating in different kinds of clubs was the right choice. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with school work that it feels really nice to be able to take a step back and go to an organization meeting and just take a break from the school work.

I have joined two organizations to participate in this year, Wonders of Our World (WOW) and CHAARG. I have not actually gone to a CHAARG meeting so I will focus on the Wonders of Our World. This program is an outreach based program. The basis of the WOW program is to “take the excitement of science to elementary schools.” Each week a group of students that participates in the program goes to one of three Columbus area elementary schools and takes experiments into a Kindergarten through Fifth Grade classroom. The projects that volunteers, like me, do with the kids are the same for every grade level but vary in difficulty so the older kids still get to explore and learn.

Every meeting is organized to teach us how to do the experiments before we take them to the schools. I loved the hands on approach and it was really fun to actually sit down and get to do the projects ourselves first. I also found it super helpful that I had worked with the project before taking it to a classroom because I could understand how to better help the kids to understand some of the scientific concepts behind the fun projects they get to do. On my first trip to the elementary school I got to really get experience with what this program means to the students in these schools. The first class room I went to was a First Grade classroom. When we first arrived everyone was so excited to see Mrs. Jessica; they had done the programs with her last year in Kindergarten. These first graders were all so excited to do science experiments with us, it really impacted me because I have always loved science growing up and to see a large group of kids jumping up and down they were so excited about science made my day. Once we split into groups with one to two volunteers per group of students, I really got to see the students personalities and how much they really valued the program. I want to work in some field of Pediatrics one day and I really enjoy this program because it gives me the opportunity to help kids learn and also to understand kids learning processes.

Academic Resources

I am currently taking calculus, in high school I only ever took trigonometry/precalculus so the subject matter is fairly new to me. I was struggling through some problems on the first homework. The Mathematics and Statistics Learning Resource Center (MSLRC) was one of the resources the TA and Lecture Professor mentioned for help. The actual room for the tutoring center that was specific to my class was extremely difficult to find. There were not very many people in the building so the only help I had was posters with arrows. Eventually I did find the room and was able to get help. The calculus class I am in is 1156, which is calculus for biological sciences; the tutors and TA’s that were in the MSLRC at the time were only familiar with the content of the 11151 class. A lot of them struggled to help me with the content I was working through and I went through about 5 tutors before one of them could help attempt to explain it to me. However, everyone worked really hard to help me with the problems despite the fact that they didn’t always know the exact content, and in this way the MSLRC became helpful. The tutors were really nice and understanding despite the fact some of them had never seen a problem like what I was working on. The TA for my class also works in the MSLRC once a week and once I went to him for help with understanding the content it helped my understanding a lot. It was discouraging at first that it seemed like no one could help me but the atmosphere among the tutors helped me a lot. I will definitely be back to the MSLRC this year for help throughout my courses.

Year in Review

My first year in college has come to an unconventional end. When I started school last fall, I was beyond excited for all the experiences I was about to have over the course of the year, never did I imagine it ending like this. Being on campus the first week was a strange feeling, I had no sense of where anything was at, but by the end of the year I could walk around with my eyes closed. A lot can happen in just a year and this was one defiantly that proved that.

There was a lot of adjustment initially from High School classes to the level of college courses. In the beginning of the year I was very intimidated by the idea of not really knowing what to expect when going into a classroom. As time went on, I developed new study habits and found a lot of ways to interact with my professors that made me feel a lot more comfortable being in classes. I am happy with the grades I was able to get this year with the amount of change that I went through. More recently, as a student I adjusted to online learning which was not something I was prepared for. The change came suddenly, I had thought I had two months left before I had to say goodbye to my friends and to life on campus. Doing classes from home was a major adjustment, especially because everyone in my house was also working from home and we all had different schedules. It made me miss the large lecture halls we take exams in because the environment here was much different. I hope we are able to find ourselves on campus again in the fall.

One of the goals I wanted to accomplish over this year was getting involved. At the involvement fair I realized really that it was hard to not be involved with something. Being a part of the Wonders of Our World group really made a difference for me this year. I was able to be out in the community interacting with kids and doing fun experiments with them, each one is really a priceless experience. Along with this on campus I was involved with CHAARG, in this group I found a great way to relieve stress and meet new people from all different majors. One thing I did not expect at the beginning of the year was that I would be a part of the Leadership Committee for the STEM EE Scholars program. I am so glad that I applied for a position because it really helps me connect with my peers in the program. I was very nervous back in August because I truly didn’t know what to expect. Now about eight months later I am so much more confident in myself and my abilities. I am so thankful for all the wonderful experiences I was able to have this year and can’t wait to be back on campus and make more memories.