Yesterday, three other biology students and I took a road trip out to Novus, a scientific corporation that is attempting to utilize scientific knowledge and techniques in order to solve the problem of feeding our ever-growing population. We have been working on various experiments this school year, and we were able to present our findings to Novus scientists and other students from all over the state of Missouri.
I worked with Dr. Rayhel and Michael on a butterfly study. In a nutshell, we were trying to see if Dpp (or decapentaplegic) would induce spots on the butterfly wing. (Sounds fun, right?!) Our results were negative; it did not appear that injecting butterfly pupae with Dpp affected the development of spots on the wing. However, results are results, whether they’re positive or negative.
Yesterday, after being treated to a lovely breakfast complete one of the best organic smoothies I’ve ever tasted, a Novus scientist (who actually majored in immunology – my dream job!) gave us a presentation about his career path and how he ended up at Novus. This presentation was amazing. Not only did it give me a look at the life of someone like me, but he also almost gave a biology “lecture” while doing so. In his presentation, the scientist combined elements of cell biology, immunology, biochem, and genetics. I was so happy that I was able to keep up with what he was saying (for the most part, anyway). I felt like a lot of it was a review of the classes that I have or that I am currently taking – so that’s proof that Fontbonne offers a great biology curriculum and education!
After the presentation, we took a tour of the Novus labs and facilities. Then, we presented our experiments to the scientists and students. Later, we took a shuttle over to the St. Louis Science Center, where we attended a panel about how people with science degrees got into the career positions they currently hold.
All in all, the day was amazing. We agreed that it was one of our top five experiences while at Fontbonne. We loved the fact that we were reassurred that it’s okay not to have everything figured out as far as careers and graduate education go, and we enjoyed hearing from people who have “been there and done that.” Plus, we were able to network; I now have contact information for three people that I previously didn’t even know. As Andre put it, “The information that we got today was PRICELESS.” I couldn’t agree more.