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The Role of RockEDU in Realizing my Aspirations

By LattPhyuPhyu Thant

My name is LattPhyuPhyu Thant, and I am currently a Junior studying Criminal Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. This year, I had the incredible opportunity of interning for RockEDU Science Outreach at The Rockefeller University.

Working at RockEDU has taught me many things about myself and my future goals. Throughout my childhood, I always wanted to be a scientist, however, as I have grown older, I have developed a keen interest in the Law and Justice field. My enthusiasm for teaching and education advocacy has led to my desire to work for the Global Educational Advocacy program in the United Nations. Interning at RockEDU has allowed me to expand my knowledge of teaching and fulfill my life-long interest in exploring science.

Each day at RockEDU brought something different, whether it was working on a new experiment for teaching resources, managing to build our website and multimedia, assisting in LAB Experiences with the students or taking photographs for the website.

A typical day consisted of conducting experiments such as TLC Thin Lay Chromatography, and clearly and concisely recording the process (via notebook and photography!) for the website. When I was not participating in building experimental content for the website, I would assist in our LAB Experiences (GFP, PCR, and Algae) as needed. On those occasions, I would get the chance to interact with the students and share my experiences with education and science as well as my future interests.

RockEDU served as a critical stepping stone for my future goals.

Before interning at RockEDU, I thought that working with scientists and professionals would be difficult. It had been a while since I had studied math and science—the last time I remember learning about biology or chemistry was my freshman and sophomore years of high school! So, when I started my internship at the beginning of the semester, I was intimidated.

However, working at RockEDU has allowed me to meet with admirable, proficient, kind and understanding co-workers, all of whom taught me valuable skills and life lessons for me to carry on to my next chapter in life.

Specifically, I learned many great things from the RockEDU Program Manager (and, my personal manager!), Dr. Disan Davis. Her consistent patience in explaining various tasks and answering all my questions regarding chemistry, biology, photography, and website navigation, allowed me to absorb the relevant material and grow professionally. I am blessed and thankful to have had the chance to work with a group of awesome individuals who share a common goal and passion for science and education.

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