This is a short answer for UMich. The question asks, "What led you to choose the area(s) on academic interest that you have listed in your application to UMich?
My passion for science really developed outside the classroom. While most of my classmates get their daily dose of science in school, I often immersed myself in it in my free time. When I was little, Id tinker with things around the house to figure how they worked. My first science project that was to be judged was in fifth grade. I did a simple, but detailed, project on how the density of water affects an objects ability to float. Like any other fifth grader, I was daunted by the prospect of being judged. But when I gave my presentation, I felt a sense of professionalism. Even at the wee age of ten, I felt like a real scientist presenting his discovery. Another science fair project chance did not come until my sophomore year in high school. Now that I had a more comprehensive knowledge in biology, I constructed a project using materials from my high school lab. My projects title was, Got milk that is E. coli infested? The project investigated how lactose concentrations affect E. coli growth rate. I presented my project in my high school fair, district fair, and state fair; earning a superior rating in all three fairs. The following year, I decided to do something more complex than my previous project. I contacted the biology department in the University of Akron, and landed an opportunity to work with Dr. Liu, an assistant professor. I proposed an idea which related to his line of studies. My project investigated cadherin expression in the regenerating cerebellum of an adult zebrafish. Dr. Liu provided the antibodies and materials required to conduct the experiment. I worked on the project for four months. I used this project to win awards and science fairs. But working with Dr. Liu was more valuable than winning awards. It gave me a glimpse of a scientists world. Working with Dr. Liu convinced me to seek a career in research. My goal is to study at a renowned research institution. I believe the University of Michigan will help me reach that goal.
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