STEP Experience – Undergraduate Research in Chemical Engineering

The Catalytic Material Design Group

The Catalytic Material Design Group

For my STEP experience, I chose to pursue an undergraduate experience in Chemical Engineering. My pursuit of this endeavor led me to join the Catalytic Material Design Group, headed by Dr. Nicholas Brunelli. The group’s research centers around catalysts, which are chemicals/materials that speed up chemical reactions. The goal of the group’s research is to design better catalysts by focusing on atomic-level control of active sites. For my project, I focused on designing and creating a novel catalyst that is inspired by enzymes, nature’s catalysts. My day-to-day activities included conducting experiments, synthesizing materials, and participating in meetings and discussions.

One of the biggest things that I immediately noticed about myself when first starting my research experience was that my work ethic evolved to be much more systematic and organized. The research I do requires a lot of planning and careful time management, so I quickly had to adapt to the work schedule of research, which in turn has affected my overall work ethic for projects and classwork. On a larger scale, my experience in a research group opened my eyes to the global research community. As I started reading more literature and talking to more people in the research community, I began to see the importance of publishing and sharing information with others in the scientific community. In fact, many publications and findings are results of collaboration between research groups and are supported by years of research from other groups. This realization challenged the former assumption that I had that research stems purely from the creative genius of the individual researcher. In fact, the basis of most research comes from years of work and discussion of many groups and individuals and becomes the support for the researcher’s ideas. Keeping an open mind when reading the work of others allows you to see others’ viewpoints and opinions that you may have not considered before. In addition, I’ve learned that collaboration is a key way to solving problem because it not only combines your expertise and knowledge with others’, but also gives you a new perspective of the problem or subject you are studying.

From the first day that I met with my research advisor, everything had a planned systematic approach. I was to read certain papers, write a report, and discuss what I learned with my advisor and colleagues. While schoolwork often follows the same structure, this was different because I had the excitement of being able to study something new at my own pace and being able to apply that knowledge in the lab. In the beginning, the experiments that I conducted were trivial and more oriented toward training me to be comfortable in the lab. But, the point when I felt like all my training and preparation had come to fruition was when one of the graduate students and I were able to successfully synthesize a novel catalyst that we had been working on for months. This catalyst has not be synthesized by anyone else and we are very excited for the potential that it holds. During a testing phase where we tested the ability of the catalyst to catalyze a reaction, I can shamelessly say that I did a little dance of joy when the news broke that the catalyst worked.

One of the most enjoyable and valuable experiences I’ve had in research was the opportunity to present my work and findings to a variety of audiences. Through my undergraduate research experience with Dr. Brunelli’s group, I have discovered the importance of communicating and sharing information. In our group, we have a requirement that all undergraduates present their work at group meetings at least once a month. The structure of group meetings centers around the presenter and their work, with group members giving constructive feedback and evaluations on the presenter’s performance. This system has helped me develop my presentation skills tremendously. Preparing presentations for research is quite a different experience from traditional presentations. One of the challenges of creating a research presentation is that it questions whether you really know your own material. More often than not, I’ve found that I learned more about my project and findings while creating a presentation than I do when discussing it with my research advisor. In addition, creating presentations has also helped me develop a sense for what information to select based on my audience. I’ve realized that I often have much more to say than I have room or time to talk about. As such, I’ve learned to selectively choose what I want to say in order to make the most impact with the audience I have. Another outlet that I have presented my research though is at poster sessions. A creative advantage of poster sessions is that your audience generally has limited knowledge of my research topic. Consequently, I am able to walk my audience through my project from the ground up and make a bigger impact on their understanding of my project. During my first poster session, I was nervous and unsure of what to expect, but with time, I found that I was able to effectively convey my research to my audience at a high level that was easy for them to understand and appreciate. With more positive feedback, I became even more encouraged and even eager to talk about my work with the next person.

With the many problems I encounter everyday in research, my problem solving skills have improved substantially. One of the more noticeable personal improvements this has made was to my interview skills. Questions that I formerly had trouble answering are now made easy (and even enjoyable) to answer because of the diverse experiences that I have had in the lab. In addition, many of the skills I have learned over the past several months are easily transferable to any workplace. I also learned not to be afraid to ask others for help. Many problems and questions in research are not solved by the work of one individual alone. With this mindset, I made many valuable connections with students and professors that have helped me with my work substantially. An example of this is when I was first deciding which research group I wanted to work for. I had many groups on my list and was quite apprehensive to approach any of them out of fear of saying the wrong thing or giving off the wrong impression. My STEP advisor noticed this and helped me break out of that shell and instructed me on how to properly approach professors. With this newfound knowledge and resolve, I took the initiative to go to a networking dinner where I met Dr. Brunelli and was able to have a great conversation with him about his research. Without the will to make connections, I would have had a much harder time finding a research position that I was happy at.

The transformations to my character and experiences have helped build a basis for me to succeed in the future. Not only has this experience in research developed good personal habits, formed valuable relationships with students and professors, and allowed me to learn new technical knowledge and skills, but it has also broadened my worldview on research. My future goal at this point is to get a job in industry, and this experience has developed my professional and technical skills to a new level to where I am confident that I will be able to succeed in any work environment. In addition, the academic research experience gave me a positive taste of what graduate school is like if I choose to pursue that route. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this STEP experience and hope to be able to continue to pursue and learn from my research for the rest of my undergraduate career.

 

 

 

 

STEP Reflection

This summer I started working as a research assistant with Dr. Brandon Turner in the psychology department, here at Ohio State. Dr. Turner’s lab is a Model-based Cognitive Neuroscience lab. I was given several major projects that were necessary in order for experiments to be conducted in the fall. The goal of our lab is to better understand how the brain produces behavior by using cognitive modeling to interpret neuroscientific data.

This summer opened my eyes to the world of research. I had the ability to form relationships with scholars and grad students. I was able to understand the role a professor’s time outside of the classroom. Research can be a very rewarding career path and I have understood it in a new light.

Our lab is highly interdisciplinary, using tools from neuroscience, cognitive science, and mathematics to conduct our research. My work during the summer was focused on preparing for experiments for the following year. Our experiments will focus on dynamic models of cognition and perceptual decision-making and investigating how working memory interacts to shape an observer’s perception of the world, and ultimately how this perception drives their decisions.

Some of the work I did included extensive scientific literature analysis, searching for multiple, different equipment models and learning how to code. With the multiple assignments, I became much more detail oriented over this summer. Every project I had the mindset that it had to be completed to a level that my PI would be satisfied with. I also widened my horizons in the field of cognitive neuroscience.

As this was my first research experience, I had much to learn. Although I had a very strong basis in cognitive neuroscience through my classes and personal inquiry, I never had any hands-on applications of my knowledge in neuroscience. I was blown away by how different computer applications have been applied to several different cognitive models.

After this summer, I have continued working in the lab and I am currently in the midst in the planning process for multiple different experiments. Because of my STEP experience, I was granted the opportunity to be one of the few undergraduates to help with this experiment. This experience has also motivated me to inquire about possible research opportunities in medical school. As I am on the path toward medical school, I knew an invaluable experience in the research field would significantly help achieve my greater goal. However, because of my experience, I have reaffirmed my decision that medical school is the path for me, as I am more than able to use my degree in the field of research.

 

Feet on the Earth, Head in the Stars: Rachel Cannata’s STEP Research

My STEP experience falls into the category of what Dr. Randy Pausch described as “truly achieving our childhood dreams.” I’ve wanted to be an astronomer since the age of five and this past summer I got one step closer. I conducted a 10 week research project trying to characterize the contamination in the Kepler field that took me to the MDM Observatory on Kitt Peak in Arizona for two weeks to take nearly 35,000 images of 16 KIC stars and then back to OSU to analyze the data, code, and do photometry for the remaining 8 weeks. I hoped to find whether or not many of the KIC stars had smaller, fainter stars nearby that contributed to the light we detect, and thus bias the data. If we can counteract that bias, then the data the Kepler telescope takes can be used with confidence to help us understand spin-down in main sequence stars.

The technical skills alone that I gained from this experience were enough to make it worthwhile. Knowing how to write code, process large amounts of data, give a research presentation, or even look up papers to get background information are foundational skills for any scientific undertaking. More specifically, I learned two valuable aspects of observational stellar research: operating a telescope and processing images in the Image Reduction and Analysis Facility (IRAF). The interface for operating the 1.3m telescope was surprisingly easy to learn, and once I demonstrated that I could accurately point the telescope and take data, I took over. Once back in Columbus, I taught myself IRAF and used it to do some basic photometry and inspect the quality of our images as well as extract and insert information to each of the image headers.

As mentioned above, since the age of five, I have wanted to be an astronomer. Conducting research for the first time carried a huge personal significance simply because this experience was fifteen years in the making. There was also quite a bit of growth, both academically and personally. I gained so much knowledge, but even more personally, I gained a lot of confidence. By doing something in which I had no previous experience, I had to learn to not be afraid to make mistakes; I was not going to go from undergraduate student to professional astronomer, with the knowledge that comes with decades of experience, over the course of a summer.

Furthermore, I had to get over my fear of not meeting expectations, especially when preparing my presentation to the Department of Astronomy. Standing before nationally acclaimed astronomers giving a research presentation is incredibly intimidating, but with much preparation, I could confidently present my work. It is going to take a while to completely eradicate these fears but this summer has given me a good start.

By far the highlight of my summer research experience was the observing run out to the MDM Observatory. At an elevation of 6800 feet, close to the summit of Kitt Peak, MDM provides breathtaking views of both the sky and the surrounding Arizona desert. I was nearly in the middle of nowhere, about 40 miles from the Mexican border, and the isolation was beautiful. Many times I would spend my afternoons out hiking on the mountain, perching myself atop rocky overlooks just taking in the surroundings.

Even so, the work itself was exciting. Perhaps it was because this was my first observing run, but there was something enthralling about opening up the dome each night and preparing to take data. My work night began around 7:30PM and lasted until around 5AM. Surprisingly, it was not that hard to become nocturnal, and by the end of the night I was so exhausted that I could fall asleep rather quickly. There was something beautiful about each night, knowing that, while the people living nearby were asleep, I was awake, operating a piece of human ingenuity, collecting photons that had traveled unfathomable distances to tells us information about their parent stars. Being kept awake by the local classic rock station, I fell into a pretty good work routine: slew telescope, align frame, focus lens, take data, repeat. It was monotonous, but it was my work, my effort, and I would not trade in this experience for anything because it helped kindle the passion that’s been inside me for as long as I can remember and further solidified my desire to pursue astronomy in an academic setting.

The data analysis was not nearly as glamorous and that took a huge toll on me because every day felt the same and I was making incredibly slow progress. It got to the point where I seriously began to question whether or not I was cut out for astronomy. Subsequent conversation with my coworkers helped me realize that even though I was not getting a lot of tangible results, I was teaching myself how to code in various astronomy specific programs, how to efficiently extract data from various papers, work well in a Linux environment, and troubleshoot. These are fundamental skills that will be necessary in the future but naturally, the first time I try to do things it won’t always go as planned. I was expecting the astronomy equivalent of going from a couch potato to a marathon runner overnight and that is most certainly not realistic. That realization helped me get through those hard weeks and the challenged me to keep pushing forward even when I really disliked what I was doing; there was still an even more important goal to work towards.

As I move forward in an academic pursuit of astronomy, I have plenty of good things awaiting me, primarily because of this research and the support of my advisor. The project itself is rather important, as it could pave the way for an unprecedented understanding of the physics of stellar angular momentum loss, so it is a privilege to be able to contribute even a minute amount to its efforts. It is also a privilege to have an advisor who sees potential where I don’t because that helps me stay focused on the next step: graduate school. He also was very encouraging during those times mentioned above when I was terrified of making mistakes and worried that I was actually hindering the progress of the project. He would remind me that this was just the beginning and I had a lot to learn, but that he was pleased with my work. By merits of the hands-on experience I have gained this summer, combined with success in my classes, I will be in a very good position for graduate school, where I will continue work in stellar astronomy. Furthermore, I will be able to present the results at the American Astronomical Society meeting, where I will get to network and just interact with astronomers from all over the country. Getting my name out there and finding out about what sort of research is being done in the US helps me to get a feel for what I want to do professionally.

The work is hard and the classes are rigorous, but this twenty year old will not lose the wonder and awe of her five year old self who looked up at the moon and thought “I want to go there.” With the assistance of telescopes, I can now probe even further into the depths of the universe and that is a very beautiful thing.

Cheers!

Rachel

Jake Haynes | STEP Experience

For my STEP experience, I initially decided to maintain a hybrid project between undergraduate research and an internship. My research was in Procedural Content Generation; my internship was in mobile application development.

My STEP experience had a rather profound effect on my desired career path. It educated me not only by the knowledge I directly learned, but also through the career experience I gained. I was excited to have my first position in my field. Unfortunately, my STEP internship closed down shortly after the summer began [it was a startup, and the CEO decided the minimal profits were not worth the time or expenses.] However, I still got to enjoy the time that I spent there over the winter, spring, and the beginning of summer. While there, I came to realize a few things. First, starting your own company has a myriad of pros and cons. The primary benefit I noticed was that you are your own boss; there is no supervisor to make sure you are present on time, or working hard throughout the day. However, this isn’t to say that you are allowed to slack in your work. While working your own schedule is nice, it is still important to understand that this only puts more responsibility in your hands to get your work done punctually.

Despite the fact that I would enjoy managing myself and being self sufficient, there certainly exist some negatives to owning your own company, the most paramount of which is the illusion of job security. As a small business, my internship maintained few employees [6 on site including me] and few clients. Unfortunately, this small client pool is not always enough to keep a company’s net change in money positive and increasing, especially as expenses rise. Seeing something like this happen to a company I worked at made me realize that which I would enjoy working for myself, there are important downsides to consider too.

The changes discussed above were very largely defined by my internship’s closure mid summer. As a result of losing this opportunity, I took a position as a TA in a Computer Science class, as well as focused on my undergraduate research. While this was not my initial STEP plan, I still greatly enjoyed the summer. I enjoyed working in a research lab, but I am not entirely sure if it is a career I would pursue- especially seeing that I would likely need to continue my education for a few additional years.

Over the course of the summer, I feel that my STEP experience gave me the fantastic opportunity to learn and become proficient with two programming languages, Objective C and C#. I also got some exposure to Swift, the new programming language developed by Apple, and Unity, a development environment used around the world to create video games. Between the “academic” knowledge and the “life” knowledge I gained  this summer,  I know that I learned a very valuable set of skills through my STEP experience.

These changes are significant to my life because they affect what I will choose to pursue in a year when I graduate from Ohio State. I had a few ideas in mind before my STEP experience: continue in school to do research, perhaps teaching along the way, start my own company with its own goals, or join an existing software engineering company with goals parallel to mine. While I feel I would enjoy any of these careers, my STEP experience illuminated the pros and cons of each of these. Even though I an not entirely sure which I will pursue at this time, I definitely feel that, because of the opportunity presented to me by STEP, I will feel confident and content with the decision I make

STEP Reflection

For my STEP project, I decided to take advantage of undergraduate research here at Ohio State. I worked in the Magliery Lab in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry doing protein mutagenesis and characterization. Basically, we took a particular protein called Rop and manipulated its genetic sequence to see how that would affect its stability as a molecule.

After I joined the Magliery Lab and started to become comfortable working in the environment, I realized that research wasn’t as intimidating as I had thought it was. It was something I was unfamiliar with initially because I hadn’t had experience with it. But once I was shown how to do procedures, I gradually became more comfortable in the lab and began to think more critically, and in a different way than I had before. My research forced me to plan my schedule ahead of time to ensure I had enough time to perform certain experiments. This has been translated over into my personal life, and now I really like having the comfort of planning my schedule ahead of time and knowing what to expect every day and even in the later stages of my academic career. Research has also taught me to be patient, because results often take time to analyze and put together.

During my STEP experience, the knowledge of the scientific field, how research works in a lab, and learning how to think critically and plan efficiently all contributed to change my assumption about performing research. Going in, most of the scientific knowledge I had was from science classes in high school and in my first couple of years of undergraduate studies. It was textbook knowledge, which helped me out a great deal in fact, however it isn’t the same as actually being submerged physically in the field. You get to apply the knowledge you’ve learned about in a hands-on way and it helps to solidify what you’ve learned in the classroom. That was one of my favorite parts of my experience. Also, you read about scientists who do research for a living, and then once you get into research you get to work alongside those people and the things you learn from them are really useful and most of the time things that you can apply to your own projects/work.

Prior to joining the Magliery Lab, I had no research experience so when I came in I had to be shown how the lab worked and how to use all the different instruments. It was difficult to keep everything straight at first, but with anything as I was around the lab more and did more procedures throughout my time there it became almost like second nature. I was no longer nervous to use the centrifuge or make a simple agarose gel. I would use tools that previous members of the lab had made, like a module on how to design primers and clone plasmids and eventually became a little more independent from the research assistant who was teaching me. She became comfortable giving me tasks to do and I could do them without her showing me how.

One of the most important aspects of my summer working in a research lab was the expectation of developing better critical thinking skills. Most of the classes I have taken so far as an undergraduate haven’t really challenged me in that way, they were mostly just “memorize this information for this test and then maybe never use it again”. Some topics would stick with me if I was particularly interested in them, but that was really only facts. In our lab, the projects I work on can involve abstract concepts, so that challenges me as well. Planning experiments and trying to come to conclusions about why things go wrong or don’t work a way that you expect are more of the parts of research that have forced me to think critically. Doing research is sometimes like trying to put a puzzle together, and there are more than one way to do that.

Through my STEP experience, I gained valuable knowledge about myself and the scientific community. I proved to myself that something that initially was somewhat intimidating to me was something I actually came to enjoy being a part of. Participating in research I believe will set me apart from all the other applicants to dental school and allow me to speak about a different experience than what others may have. It will also be beneficial for me to have developed the problem solving skills I have for when I finally do enter into the dental field. My experiences will allow me to better care for my patients and that is the ultimate goal.

STEP Reflection – Spine Research Institute

https://spine.osu.edu/sites/spine.osu.edu/files/media/OpticalMotionCaptureOHIO.png

For my STEP experience with undergraduate research, I was employed as a research assistant with the Spine Research Institute (SRI) at Ohio State, and tasked with how to best approximate anthropometrics (particular body measurements) through the use of data collected from optical motion capture software.  My day-to-day tasks mostly consisted of building code to complete this task, while on other days I would help around the lab with regular tasks and pilot studies.  My code, constructed in MATLAB, takes this data, measures and analyzes the relationships between particular groups of markers, and uses those measurements in conjunction with existing statistical and biological relationships to form an approximation of these anthropometrics.

The Institute conducts research that is rather different from topics covered in my coursework, as I am an Engineer-Physics major with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering.  That being said, it hasn’t made me reconsider my area of study, so much as it has made me interested in potentially seeking a job in a vastly different market than what I originally had in mind. I was so set on what I wanted to do when I applied to Ohio State, becoming an engineering who works on spaceships for the curious. Now with this research experience under my belt, I’ve realized I can consider a lot more opportunities than just what I was limiting myself to beforehand. I realize not everyone may have such rigid ideas of career plans as I had, but for me it was a fairly monumental shift in mindset for myself. Before I was set on getting into the space industry, but now I’m looking at careers at the intersection of medical and engineering fields, or computer applications with motion capture like animation or even video game development. Although that might start to seem a bit silly with how hopeful I am that I could undergo such an increase for potential career paths this late into my college career, it’s actually immensely comforting and even a bit refreshing to know I have plenty of options left for my future.

Something that was a bit simpler, yet still profound for me in its own way, was how this was my ‘real’ job in engineering, or science, or research, or whichever classification you would prefer to use. This is something that I’m likely going to look back on as my first position where I could prove that I had the technical skills to get the job done. While I’ve still got much more to learn in the classroom, to take what I have learned already, and new skills I learned along the way, and apply them to some real world is some of the most pure and basic satisfaction I’ve gotten from any endeavor in quite a while. By proving to myself that I can do this, I know I’m just going to be that much more confident with my abilities when it comes time to venture out into industry after college.

One particular interaction that actually took place fairly recently, I was speaking with my co-worker Ben, who is a post-doctoral researcher with the Institute, and working with him to try and configure a pressure sensor to operate properly in conjunction with an oscilloscope. Sparing the full discussion here, we sat down and talked and tinkered for roughly a half hour before deciding that a simple inclusion of either a pull-down resistor or placing a transistor at just the right place would accomplish the desired result. It wasn’t until I was walking back home that I thought about it, but I had just helped someone who has a Dr. prefacing their name solve a problem for the lab, and that still seems a little bit crazy to me as a third year undergrad. While I’m sure my colleagues still know so much more than I do, it’s a good feeling to know that I still bring something to the table for the lab.

Toward the end of the summer, and even more so recently, I have begun to take on more involved roles in studies. Initially is was just helping setting up the testing apparatus and various materials, then from time to time I was offered to be a pilot subject, and now I’m helping to conduct the actual experiments and process data on my own. An important aspect of that last evolution of my role in the lab is that whenever I am directly involved with conducting the experiment, I have to get such involvement approved by an IRB and it may even mean that I get credited in any publication for the study we do, even if it’s just a small footnote. I’ve thought about working in a lab as a career before, and to gain this kind of recognition and knowledge of the experimental process is a great first step for me. The idea doesn’t seem as unbelievable as before now that I know more of the particulars on a more personal level, and that’s the kind of experience I plan to take with me once I graduate.

As you’ve no doubt noticed through the tone of this reflection so far, looking back, I view my STEP experience with undergraduate research now as the first major step in my career goals. I have had quite the difficulty trying to find internships or co-ops that I could get accepted into, or afford to participate in, but nothing really quite worked, so for a long time I was scared of being stuck with no experience upon graduation. STEP, quite literally, afforded me the opportunity to finally get that first job, that first real experience that is now going to be a cornerstone with respect to how I construct my career. Although I haven’t given much time to it in this writing, this research has also helped immensely with my schoolwork as it allowed me to learn skills in advance that have proven to be crucial, with regards to coding or experimental design in particular. This research experience has made my academics somewhat easier, it’s providing me with a wage I can live off, and it has set me up for success in my future. I’m glad I took part in the STEP program, and interested in what other problems and opportunities I will be presented with at the Institute. In conclusion, I still have very few ideas about what I want to do once I’m finished pursuing my education, but this experience has given me the proof and experience necessary so that I’m sure I can accomplish whatever I set myself toward, as soon as I figure out what just that is.

My STEP Experience

Shannon Halloran

Undergraduate Research

When I decided to join STEP, I had no idea what I wanted my experience to be. As the deadline for the proposal drew near, I felt like I was never going to be able to choose an experience. During Spring Semester 2015, I interviewed for and was offered a position as an undergraduate research volunteer, and I knew I had found my STEP experience. In the summer, I began working in Dr. Mike Ostrowski’s laboratory, a part of the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center. In the lab, I began assisting Dr. Jinghai Wu and a few graduate students with their work on pancreatic cancer genetics. I had no research experience outside of the classroom before I began volunteering in this lab, so I had a lot to learn. I am still currently volunteering as a research assistant, and I continue to learn new things and gain valuable experience all the time. Participating in STEP provided me with a great way to take advantage of this undergraduate research opportunity.

 

When I walked into the lab on my first day, I was essentially a blank slate. I had never worked in a lab before, and the only limited research experience I had was from class. There were many research methods and procedures that I needed to learn. I was trained on handling live mice, dissecting mice, cell culturing, and genotyping, which involves extracting and purifying mouse DNA, PCR, and gel electrophoresis. After a few weeks of training, I understood how to perform most of these techniques and was comfortable doing more things on my own. As I continue to volunteer in the lab, I am now primarily responsible for genotyping the mice. The process of genotyping involves using genotype-specific primers during PCR to yield target DNA and visualizing the DNA on an agarose gel. The mice we use have a wide range of genotypes, and how we utilize any given mouse is dependent on its genotype. Therefore, it is very important that I work carefully to get accurate results.

 

A few months ago, if someone were to ask me what I wanted to do after graduation, I would not have had a concrete answer for them. I knew that I loved my major, but I didn’t know how I wanted to use my degree. A few ideas were floating around my head, including medical school and graduate school, but I was not leaning in any particular direction. Now, after spending a good amount of time doing research, I think that graduate school may be the path for me. I enjoy working in a biomedical lab, because I know the research being done has the potential to affect many lives.   I want to continue doing research through the remainder of my undergraduate career. Next semester, I plan to enroll in research for credit. I will soon be able to begin my own project and hopefully work on a thesis.

 

I have always been the type of person who likes to work alone and get things done quickly. However, working in the lab has given me a newfound appreciation for patience and collaboration. I knew that research took time, but I underestimated how long the process really is. For example, many of our mice, if they are the correct genotype, won’t develop tumors for 6 months. It is therefore crucial that the procedures are followed accurately and precisely so as not to waste time. Without collaboration among researchers, who knows how long it could take to get things done. Sharing supplies, results, and knowledge really helps the research process run smoothly. I will now always remember to be patient and utilize opportunities for teamwork.

 

It is hard to choose just one favorite part from my STEP experience. One of the biggest highlights was that I was able to stay in Columbus this summer and meet other undergraduates who were also spending their summers doing research. My favorite part though was actually going into the lab everyday and working with the other people. Everyone I worked with was super helpful, on top of being really nice people. They are always happy to share their own insights and experiences with me. As someone who was not entirely sure what I wanted to do in the future when I started, it was always great to hear their advice. The people I work with in the lab really make it a great atmosphere and definitely enhanced my STEP experience. I definitely enjoyed my STEP experience, and participating was worthwhile. I would recommend participating in STEP to anyone who may be interested.