My mentors in my lab were extremely patient with me while I learned about the research and were amazing teachers. They ensured that it was a smooth learning curve for me and it served as an excellent introduction to the field of computational chemistry.
Trinity Deak heard about the HYRS program through her chemistry 30 teacher and decided to take the opportunity and apply. During HYRS, Trinity worked in a computational chemistry lab and conducted research about changes in shape of a DNA double helix when DNA is damaged.
What drew you to the HYRS program?
I heard about the program through my chemistry 30 teacher. There was a fair amount of grade 11 students taking his class and he wanted to make us aware of the opportunity. He recommended that I look into the program and apply. Another grade 12 student taking the class at the time was a previous HYRS student and explained her experiences with the program. She seemed to really enjoy the introduction to research that was provided through the HYRS program, and that sold me on applying.
What research have you engaged in? Tell us what you have enjoyed most about your project(s), including any cool findings!
I worked in a computational chemistry lab during HYRS, which at the time, was a field of science research I hadn't realized existed. In the lab, I learned lots about the field of computational chemistry, various programs to conduct that type of research, and lots about DNA damage. My project looked at the changes in shape of a DNA double helix when different types of damage became attached to the helix. I learned about the different types of damaging compounds we analyzed in the project and got to see some of the effects of the damage through my own research by the end of the summer.
What have you enjoyed the most about the HYRS program?
I enjoyed getting to meet the other students in the HYRS program and learning about all the different kinds of research being done. It was really neat to see all the projects done by other HYRS students and get exposure in many labs, either through the other students or through tours through the program. The whole experience really highlighted all the ways I could get involved in research and the different areas within the research community.
Is there anyone who had an important influence on your experience with the program? This can be a fellow student in the HYRS program, a mentor, staff or faculty.
I think that most people involved in the program really helped make it a memorable experience. My mentors in my lab were extremely patient with me while I learned about the research and were amazing teachers. They ensured that it was a smooth learning curve for me and it served as an excellent introduction to the field of computational chemistry. The other students in my HYRS cohort also helped to make me feel comfortable when I was presenting my research and always made the lab tours more entertaining.
What advice would you give students who are interested in research through the HYRS program?
To ask lots of questions to your lab supervisors. It might be intimidating to ask questions at the beginning, but know the supervisors want this to be a good experience for you and want you to understand your project. Also, don't be afraid to do things with your lab team or your HYRS cohort outside of the program. Your experience in the program doesn't have to only include the planned events and the regular work hours. The more you get involved, the better the experience will be.