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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Q1 i2 Project Benchmark


     This year, I have decided to pursue an interest that I have wanted to work on for years. Ever since being introduced to the world of microbiology through a PBS game show episode that premiered when I was 6, I have wanted to conduct some sort of research concerning this field of study. But as the years passed I believed that I would never get the opportunity to do so. Until now!

     My i2 project this year will be a combination of learning a skill and making a product that demonstrates my knowledge. Drawing most of my inspiration from the Human Microbiome Project, I will learn how to identify various types of bacteria and conduct an experiment of my own in which I will collect and identify bacteria from human samples. In terms of a tangible product, I will document this process by filming it and by making a write up summarizing my experiment. 

     After learning about the Human Microbiome Project, I suddenly recalled my first-grade self's  interest in the subject. Since then, there have been countless advancements in microbiology. A few of my favorite videos describing the human microbiome project and applications of microbiome research can be found below.

Above is a description of the HMP and how it works, from the University of Michigan Health System. This video helped me further my knowledge on the HMP and what they do.  A part of my goal is to be able to understand most of the complex terms included in this video as well as the HMP website.

A short, interesting video that reveals the connection between dogs and human microbiomes, from the Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois, included above. It describes an interesting relationship that I was not previously aware of and one that I might integrate into my experiment.

A video courtesy of the Argonne National Lab describing fascinating research connecting the human microbiome and food allergies is found above. Just as the previous video, this shows an aspect of microbiology that I may want to pursue in my experiment.


Actions (filming will take place during nearly all these steps)
Begin planning research opportunities and finding resources that can help me achieve my goal
      ex. contact adults that can provide leads and/or act as mentors;                       preferably in the microbiology field
Finalize my "game plan" and who/what will assist me in my project
      ex. come up with project plan and schedule
Begin research using mainly print sources
     ex. borrow most sources from libraries; take notes 
Continue my research over the break/begin planning experiment*
Finish research and begin conceptualizing/conducting experiment 
Begin experiment 
Continue experiment
Complete experiment, do write up and compile/edit footage
Finalize my presentation (write up/video) 

*subject pending, since it is dependent on my research

     My long term plan is to build up to being involved in bioinformatics. This year, I will work on the "bio" part. If all goes well, I would like to continue this project next year as a junior by learning how to code. This would fulfill the "informatics" portion by bridging my research from this year and the coding skills I will learn as a junior. 

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