Welcome to the SEE Summer High School Intern 2020 Website. This website represents the work and experiences of the interns over the course of the summer as part of the Baliga, Gibbons, and Hood-Price labs.

What made our year so special?

How did COVID-19 impact our internship and the projects we pursued?

COVID-19 has undoubtedly impacted our lives, and inevitably, our internship experience at ISB. Before we continue to say anything about our summer, we would like to thank the Systems Education Experiences Team making this internship such a meaningful experience for all of us. We are very grateful beyond words for having this opportunity amid such an unprecedented time.

In terms of the projects we pursued, the focuses of the projects we pursued were rather heavier on the “dry lab” projects rather than “wet lab”, meaning we had a stronger emphasis on coding and computational biology. For those projects with wet lab attributes, materials were delivered so that wet labs could be done at home. More directly, COVID-19 was the epicenter of a unique curriculum module we all helped develop.  

How did we communicate and what did we learn?

Most of our communication was via Google Meet, Zoom, Slack, and Gmail (with some extraneous conversation trickling to Snapchat). After the initial weeks, we all gauged the communication patterns in a professional setting, allowing us to connect with a myriad of ISBers beyond the boundaries of Washington state. 

Through the dozens of video calls each week for these eight weeks, we all became familiarized with each other’s backgrounds. Yes, each other’s backgrounds. For us, our video backgrounds became a part of our virtual identities; it added a layer of personalization and even instigated the most interesting conversations. Our advice: your video background accentuates parts of your personality that you may not even notice, so don’t be afraid to be unique and expressive (while still maintaining professionalism).

Our truly iconic and memorable backgrounds: Ayushi’s heart-shaped photo collage; Kalena’s distinct Campbell soup poster; Vasu’s wooden, brown headboard; Sara’s aesthetic fairy lights; Avni’s bright blue wall; Russell’s minimalistic off-white background; Sarah’s giant king-sized bed; Kanwulia’s fluffy pillow galore. 

How were our interactions with each other unlike those of past interns yet still meaningful?

Because we were so accustomed to our computers and quick, efficient communication, we were able to quickly contact other ISBers to get our work done. But, beyond work, being fully virtual motivated us to make meaningful connections because we couldn’t see each other in person. Whether it was through our spontaneous meetings with our lab partners or figuring out what game to play at the social*, we all formed an unspeakable bond to the point where if we see each other in person it would feel like we have always known each other (beyond the virtual realm). 

*Socials were weekly 1 hour meetings on Friday’s for just the interns to socialize with each other. We asked each other icebreaker questions, played games, ranted about music artists, and so much more. The Systems Med team even had a Netflix Party. 

ISB High School Interns 2020