The Fall Entering Research course was a whirlwind. We learned very much about the processes of research, partnerships, and conduction of oneself throughout each. The beginning of the Entering Research course started with the trip to Hull Springs the week before the Honors retreat in August of 2019. Together, the fourteen LifeSTEM students worked together for an entire week through gardening, experiments, kayaking, and overall companionship.
From our experiments at Hull Springs, we transferred the research towards our ISCI 120 for the semester of learning on how to prepare projects and present our findings. My research was revolved around the levels of Microplastics in the Chesapeake Bay. In my group, we built our hypothesis upon the abundance of Microplastics in relation to the Bay shorelines. we took our samples, formed our introduction, hypothesis, results, methods, and discussion for our final presentations at the end of the semester. Aside from our group research projects, we also were able to have experience in conducting meetings with professors on their individual research projects to better prepare ourselves for formal meetings and developing our own interests in the research field.
I found that this course was helpful not only in better preparing me for my academic career but also for understanding LifeSTEM as a whole.