Making an Impact through STEM Summer Camp!
If you were visiting IU Northwest this August, you may have seen a group of smiling, chatting teens in red t-shirts emblazoned with STEM being led across campus by a STEM leader. We had a chance to catch up the STEM leader, IN LSAMP @IU Northwest Research Scholar, Patricia Rodriguez-Triana and learn more about her STEM journey.
What mentorship did you received this summer in the research lab that helped you be a successful STEM leader?
During this summer, I worked closely in the lab with my intro to biology course professor, Dr. Avis. He was incredibly helpful in guiding me towards the right way of doing certain things in my research.
His positivity even when the data didn’t look correct really inspired me to portray that positivity in all areas of my life. For example, I learned that it is okay to not do so well as long as you learn from those errors, realize what was wrong and work hard in correcting them. I guess that the biggest and most important thing I learned this summer is that sometimes it is completely okay if you mess up, because it helps you grow.
How do you feel your experience as a STEM student helped you relate to students in the lab?
It was an interesting feeling realizing that students not much younger than me looked up to me, asked me questions and were interested in all the cool things I have worked on here at IUN. I learned that I really enjoyed doing research, but I also love sharing my findings and working with others. Looking back, I can remember times when I didn’t feel as confident in the lab. Working in research helped me overcome those barriers that existed before and help others overcome them too.
For example, I remember chemistry being one of my most challenging courses, but then helping during this particular session at the STEM camp this summer, I felt so comfortable around my former professor and being able to guide the students in the right direction.