“I have a lot of black shirts.”

This was the thought that occurred to me as I rummaged through my shirt drawer this morning in search of clothing to wear for work. Many of those black shirts are emblazoned with pop culture or science-related references such as, “Stand back, I’m going to try science!” (from the webcomic xkcd) or “Look at me still talking when there’s science to do,” (from the videogame Portal) or one shirt with Albert Einstein’s face in an Andy Warhol-esque print.

All appropriate shirts for my work as an intern at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC,) which I wrote about in my previous blog post.

I’ve learned a lot in only three weeks of work at the OARDC. I’ve made electrophoresis gels, digested plasmids with enzymes, run electrophoresis gels, purified DNA samples, and extracted DNA from electrophoresis gels (we do a lot of work with electrophoresis gels,) to name just a few of the things I’ve done.

All the research I’ve been helping to do at the OARDC has made me think about future research opportunities, especially those at Gannon.

My last blog post talked about the classes that all biology students at Gannon start with: Molecular and Cellular Biology and Animal Form and Function. But some of the classes that many biology students finish with don’t take place in a classroom taking notes but in a laboratory performing research.

There are three classes biology students at Gannon can take that involve research: Directed Research, Biology Research I and Biology Research II.

In Directed Research, students assist teachers with new or ongoing research already being performed at Gannon. At the end of the course, the students will have to make a presentation about what they did and learned, similar to what I’ll have to do at the end of my work at the OARDC.

In Biology Research I, students work with a faculty member to come up with their own research project to perform at Gannon or with another organization. At the end of the course, students submit a written proposal of the research they plan to perform.

In Biology Research II, students from Biology Research I carry out the research plan they made and present their results at the end of the course.

In all of these classes, undergraduate students are performing research that affects the real world and some of them even win awards for their work!

Though I’ve still got a number of years before I will take these courses, I’m already thinking about what research I can help to perform or even come up with myself. My work here at the OARDC is helping prepare me for the research I may get to do in the future. And who knows? Maybe I’ll come up with a project that will bring Gannon and the OARDC together!

But look at me still talking when there’s science to do.

Matt 🙂

Want to know how fellow editor Sarah Sgro is spending her summer? Check out her blog here.