Amanda Storm


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    Western Carolina University

  • Role
    Scientist Mentor: I will mentor teams of students online

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I am interested in how plants control their energy use at night or when under stress. Plants store energy-rich glucose molecules in the form of starch. This starch can serve as long-term storage such as the starch found in potatoes and seeds or short-term storage which is used every night to provide energy when photosynthesis cannot occur. A family of related proteins is involved in the process of breaking down starch and I am interested in learning more about how each member of the family functions. We can learn more about their functions by seeing the effect on the plant when we remove each protein from the plant and by studying the behavior of the isolated proteins under different conditions in a test tube. It has been exciting to discover that members of this protein family are involved in allowing the plants to survive under certain stressful conditions such as very low temperatures.

  • Profile Question 1
    When and why did you decide to go into a science career?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    My love of science started with my first chemistry lab. The instructor mixed hydrogen peroxide and yeast together and then lit the gas that was formed (Oxygen) on fire! (You can check out a YouTube video of it here Fire demonstrations are always cool but this also started my fascination with molecules and how they behave. This fascination gradually evolved into a sustained interest in learning how the processes of life occur on a molecular level. When I finished high school I wanted to learn more so I went to college and after college I was still not satisfied so I went to graduate school. What attracted me to a career in science was the opportunity to continue learning. New discoveries are made every day and as a scientist I get to remain connected to this growth of knowledge and I can make my own contributions to it as well.

  • Profile Question 2
    What is best about being a scientist?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    One of the best things about being a scientist is discovering something about how the world works that has never been known before. I think it is so exciting that asking even the simplest question can lead to discoveries with huge impacts on science, health, and technology. There are techniques that are now considered routine and information in current textbooks that was not even imagined twenty years ago. And there is still so much we don’t know! In some ways we understand the solar system better than our own bodies. I continue to be amazed at how the processes of life are revealed to be so beautifully intricate and elegant. I feel privileged, challenged, and inspired to be part of the continued expansion of our knowledge into the frontier of the unknown.

  • Profile Question 3
    What is tough about being a scientist?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    One of the tough things about being a scientist is handling frustration and disappointment when something goes wrong with an experiment. This happens much more frequently than most people think as even a carefully laid out procedure can be affected by unforeseen factors. I have had times where I worked for a week to get everything ready and preform an experiment, only to have the results be inconclusive due to one of the components unexpectedly going bad. This is why including proper controls in experiments is so essential because they help you to determine what could have gone wrong. When things like that happen I will go home and treat myself to ice cream then come back the next day eager to fix the experiment and try again. A key part of being a scientist is realizing that just because your experiment didn’t work doesn’t mean that it was a failure or that you are bad at science. We are always learning!

  • Availability
    I am NOT available, please temporarily remove me from the available mentor list

  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?

Recent Posts

CornDog Squad Amanda Storm
commented on an activity

Thanks for the update! Are you seeing any other differences between the plants?

CHS Gaston Team B Amanda Storm

Hey Team B, 

Just wanted to chime in about your project. Your mentor will likely being adding some comments of his own. Good work on the Experimental design. I like the detail of the procedures and how you laid out each step.

Are you…

CHS Gaston Team I Amanda Storm

Okay team! I took a look at your experimental design. You included a good amount of details.

1. Are you planning to put either baking soda or breath into all these beakers or are the three beakers you have for each temperature the breath, baking…


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