STEP Reflection

Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.

I spent two months researching the functionality of a prosthetic hand. I specifically looked at how the weight of an object that is picked up affects how the hand functions. I processed the data through 3D motion software and performed a statistical analysis of the results.

What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.

My understanding of what I thought I wanted to do after my undergraduate education changed after completing my STEP Signature Project. After my undergraduate education, I know I want to go on to Physical Therapy school and become a physical therapist. I was not sure, however, whether or not I wanted to do research alongside that career. I assumed doing research would be an easy thing to do. But as I worked on the project for two months, I experienced firsthand all of the           hard work and effort it takes to complete a research project, even after all of the data has been collected. I, personally, like to put all of my effort into what I am pursuing, and I realized that doing research and being a physical therapist would not be a simple thing to do for me. My experience made me realize that I would rather be a full time physical therapist rather than try and balance both that and research.

My experience also gave me a glimpse of what my life will be like after college. During the summer, I was able to live on my own and learn how to take care of a house. I learned how to keep track of my money and properly budget my expenses. I was able to balance my work and my social interactions. Although this was just a glimpse of what it would be like, I know I will apply the things I have learned to my future endeavors and continue learning what it takes to be an independent adult.

What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.

              In order to complete my research project, I had to learn all of the behind the scenes work that went into doing research. For example, I had to learn new computer software that would process the data that I had correctly and give me results. I also had to look into research that has already been completed regarding hand prosthetics and thoroughly research the prosthetic hands themselves. All of the work I was doing was on a computer, which meant that I was also sitting down all day. Despite the fact that all of this work was necessary and useful, it was hard for me sit for such long periods of time with little human interaction. Most research that is conducted in the science field requires the same background research and data processing.

All of this made me realize that it would be hard for me to truly enjoy doing research. I like to stay active and move around a lot during my day. I also really enjoy interacting with people and talking through my work. I came to the conclusion that I would thrive more as a physical therapist who was dedicated to helping her patients, as opposed to helping patients and doing research. This would be something I would be able to put my best effort into and truly enjoy.

I live in Cleveland, so when I decided to do this research project, I knew this would mean I’d have to live on my own in Columbus. I have never lived on my own before, but I was ready to embrace this new opportunity. I ended up living in a house with some of my friends, and it taught me how to respect people’s habits and share a common space properly. My friends were more than happy to give me advice on how to thrive while living on my own. My parents were also able to give me advice on how to keep track of my expenses when it came to buying food during the week.

Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.

The change that I experienced definitely affected my future plans for my profession. My project allowed me to see what it would be like to conduct research for a living. It made me appreciate more the doctor patient interaction I would have every day as a physical therapist. It also made me appreciate the people who do want to do research for a living because it takes a lot of hard work and passion. The reason why I want to go into the medical field is because I want to help people. Now after my STEP project, I realize I want to personally help people face to face, as opposed to help people behind the scenes by coming up with the techniques and instruments doctors use as researchers do.