BIOL 114 (Honors)

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Research Poster for Student Showcase, 11/13/2019

Partners: Madeleine Riddle, Jessica LaPlaga, Kira Pierce

The poster above was the final product of a semester-long group experiment.  Because we were in the honors section of the class, we had to design our own experiment and ask our professor to provide the materials necessary to conduct it.  It was extremely intimidating at first, but my group and I worked well together, making it much easier to stay on track.  We decided to investigate the effects varying levels of caffeine had on the germination and plant growth of cucumber plants.  This idea stemmed from the common act of pouring one’s old coffee or soda onto the grass.  Luckily, our hypothesis was supported and showed significant results.  This project was one of my favorites from the semester because it was the first time I had done an experiment from start to finish.  It was also a great exercise in group work because we periodically had to find time within our schedules to meet and check in on the plants.  Normally, this would cause issues, but my group was committed to working hard together.  Lastly, it was my first time presenting at the Student Research Showcase.  I had no idea how much fun it would be to discuss our work with other professors.

In terms of improvement on a specific scale, I would want to be more exact when taking measurements as well as do more research in preparation for the experiment.  This way, I would have more substantial background information on the topic, especially since my major is not that involved with science.  Although this project helped in learning how to manage group projects, I still think I need more practice in trusting others to do their own work.  I tend to be a little controlling during group projects, which can be good in small doses but isn’t fair to my classmates overall.  I look forward to other science classes in the future that will allow me to investigate topics I care about in a similar self-guided approach.