Costa Rica fosters love for scientific research

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Pairs of students huddled around large posters hanging on blackboards. Students gestured and pointed to their boards as parents engaged with their children and other students about the Costa Rica research poster. On Wednesday, Sept 25, students from the Seeds of Change research trip to Costa Rica presented their posters. The topics ranged from studying birth control to cow rumen. Seniors Sydney Therien and Sam Steinhacker presented their poster about “Exploring the Synthetic Estrogen-Degrading Capabilities of the Genus Bacillus and the Pathways on Which they Operate.” On a broader spectrum, juniors Lyle Mernard and Jackson Biggs studied “The Effect of Diet on the Efficiency of Cellulose Degradation in the Rumen.” Student research was based on genetic information available on a database called IMG/ER which is used to study bioinformatics. Bioinformatics is a post-graduate level topic and is not well integrated into undergraduate biology education. 

The actual presentation later that happened at SPA was really cool because parents got to ask new questions and introduce new insights about my projects that I hadn’t even thought about.”

— senior Helen Bartlett

Senior Helen Bartlett thought the Costa Rica trip was both beneficial to learning and enjoyable.“The project was really fun because I got to work with my friends and been an amazing environment at the same time. The actual presentation later that happened at SPA was really cool because parents got to ask new questions and introduce new insights about my projects that I hadn’t even thought about,” said Bartlett.  

Students learned how to compare genomes, create KEGG pathways, and so much more. Visit the blog to learn more about the scientific immersion experience in Costa Rica.

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