As my research is finally coming together I sit back and reflect on the first half of this fellowship. I’ve learned so much in five short weeks both inside and outside of the lab thanks to my mentor, Dr. Pak. My academic and personal growth over the last two years is largely due to the experiences and opportunities I have had both in research and the ISU chemistry department.
Along with my research the summer I have been busy with Project SEED and outreach activities within the community. Project SEED is an 8 week internship where high school students interested in chemistry get hands on experience in a research lab. This summer I have two SEED students to help mentor and teach them about the world of MOFs. The outreach activities are through the Museum of Natural History on campus and they provide fun activities for kids during the summer. This current week I am helping with a camp and over 3 days 36 children will learn about science and participate in hands on activities. Sharing my knowledge with younger students is such a gratifying feeling.
Although I have been slightly busy outside of the lab my research is still progressing rather quickly. Directing my research towards the applications of MOFs is a change of pace I needed because the synthesis of MOFs was getting repetitive and I was starting to lose interest. Focusing my efforts elsewhere was very useful as I am engaged and excited about my research again. As the conference gets closer, I’m getting more excited about presenting my research. The past American Chemical Society conferences I have presented at have been a great experience however, I felt I never had enough research to present. Being in the lab every day for this summer has allowed me to get some real data to present.