Hello prospective FRI members and UT students, my name is Chad and I am a
sophomore in the DIY Diagnostics FRI stream. I’ve been a part of this stream for a semester and some change and have really enjoyed my time in the stream. This stream, like many other FRI streams, teaches you plenty of lab skills such as pipetting, analyzing your data, how to conduct proper research, etc. What sets our stream apart however is the community within the lab. Since starting my time here in DIY, I’ve made plenty of friends that I continue to talk to even outside of lab.
One of the coolest parts of DIY to me is that our lab consists of a diverse amount of students. Yes, we have our pre-health students, our bio majors like many other labs; however, our lab has a large focus on computer science which allows you to interact with many peers who may have valuable experience to share and may teach you skills you may not have learned otherwise. I can proudly say I came into DIY with 0 coding knowledge and have since learned and expanded my repertoire of computer science knowledge. We also work with 3D printing which you don’t get exposure to in a normal everyday lab. I’m a pre-dental student and DIY fits really well into any pre-health schedule thanks to the nature of what we research in our lab. The lab is built upon easy diagnostics that you can try to do at home so we are always dealing with common illnesses and bacteria that you may end up working with in a pre-health profession.
Another unsung skill that DIY helps you develop is time management. The lab is a
on-your-own schedule attendance, so you come in when you can to work on your lab hours. This helped me out in my overall experience as a UT student as it helped me learn to organize my projects and prioritize my time spent on certain tasks. Time management is a skill that I feel like many people underestimate and DIY has helped me apply this skill to the rest of my life as well! It can be daunting to worry about lab hours on top of classes, but the flexible schedule allows you to work when you have time. Time-management in lab also teaches you to prioritize certain tasks and keeps you on track of your projects both in and out of lab.
While we do have your expected lab activities like culturing bacteria as seen below, we
also do a lot of other cool things in lab like 3D printing and studying our environment here on the
UT campus! DIY gives a good mix of traditional lab work with other cool opportunities to learn
some skills that may be outside your comfort zone. I hope you all take a look through what DIY
has to offer and consider our lab as your next community to join here on the 40 acres! I will
confidently say that joining DIY will give you an awesome experience with research and checks
off some lab credits you may be wanting anyways!