In completing the assignment, “PROJECT,” I sharpened my skills in time management, team work, and scientific writing. Initially, I felt overwhelmed at the prospect of completing the research aspect as well as the write up, but that feeling dissipated soon after my teammates and I developed a solid plan. One reason that we felt particularly stressed in the beginning was because we realized that our recent assignment that we had completed, our “PROPOSAL” was insufficient. This meant that we had extra work to do on the “PROJECT,” since we could not extract much of our text directly from our flawed Proposal. However, this extra demand prompted us to tap into our time management skills, which I think was a process of growth for all of us. We had to focus extra energy on planning, designating specific days to work on specific tasks, and setting ourselves mini-deadlines. We had to plan what were appropriate times to use the necessary equipment, like the high technology microscope, based on when it was available, and then leave ourselves sufficient time to do the write up.
This project also drove us to further develop our teamwork and communication skills. We had to revise our initial teamwork strategy of splitting up the work and simply reviewing each others parts, to a strategy where all of us did each part separately, then combined them for the best end product. Sometimes I am quiet and do not voice all of my thoughts, but I think that I did a good job pointing out when something needs to be changed, and I think that I did a good job listening to my teammates as well. I also learned more about scientific writing. I read guides to writing the different subsections of the project in the book “Writing in the Biological Sciences.” I learned useful information about how the subsections should be structured, like for example how scientific introductions should have a funnel structure, starting with general background information and ending with the experimental approach. All of this hard work and learning payed off, because in the end we were all very satisfied with our poster. We were able to effectively measure the spider webs, complete the writeup, and create an aesthetically pleasing and informative poster. We were all very proud of our work, and I am proud of all that I have learned, as well.