GiS Spotlight: Honorable Mention Alice Muravin
Each year, Genes in Space awards Honorable Mentions to 10 student teams whose submissions showed exceptional creativity and scientific rigor. Today, we're featuring 2019 Honorable Mention Alice Muravin (18), a student at Hillcrest Homeschool Academy in Brooklyn, New York, who developed her proposal with input from her mentor, Ines Muravin. Alice explains the inspiration behind her idea and shares her tips for the next generation of Genes in Space contestants.
Briefly explain your experiment: My project analyzed how microgravity affects the symbiotic relationship between plants and their microbiomes, and thus the growth rates and nutritional content of the plants.
Why did you choose to participate in Genes in Space? I never stop wondering about space exploration and its effect on living things. Moreover, I find that participating in Genes in Space is very rewarding because you work on something that can make a difference.
How did you choose your topic? After browsing through the resources that Genes in Space provided, I came to the realization that optimizing crop growth was essential for long-term space travel.
What did you gain by participating in Genes in Space? I strongly believe that — to be able to move forward — we need to try new things, learn new skills, and grow from past experiences. Being a part of Genes in Space has given me the incredible opportunity of challenging myself at many levels: my research skills, creativity, and critical thinking. I also gained a heightened appreciation of how important the microbiome can be for all organisms, including plants.
Do you have any advice for future Genes in Space contestants? Don’t be afraid to encounter obstacles and to challenge yourself — hard work always leads to a reward. What is important at the end of the day is to just enjoy the process of learning new things as you do the research for your topic.