College of St. Benedicts, St. Joseph, MN
Major: Biology BS, Secondary Education BS
From Pine City, Minnesota, Anna is a rising fourth-year student co-majoring in Biology and Secondary Education. She attends the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota. Inspired by her dad who was a science teacher and her high school science courses, Anna knew she wanted to pursue a career in science education. Her high school biology and life sciences classes were among her favorites. She liked to explore the outdoors which led to a strong interest in the sciences, realizing the broad range of opportunities career-wise the sciences afforded her. Anna ultimately plans to teach, yet also has an interest in becoming a chiropractor.
Working with Drs. Dina Newman and Kate Wright, Anna’s summer research project focuses on how expert scientists and students interpret images depicting processes of Molecular Biology. Using virtual interviews, she asks research participants to sort images into groups and asks questions about their rationales. By listening to their explanations and hearing them describe connections between the images, Anna is discovering the differences in how experts and novices think. In the future, this work will be applied to the design of research-based activities to improve learning.
Anna says the virtual program this summer has been difficult in terms of her not being together in person with resources close at hand. Yet it has been a positive experience to learn how to work online with people from all over the country. Meeting for an hour with faculty and/or peers and taking from that input toward her next steps in independent work alone has been a strengthening experience.