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Summer 2023: A Look into the Work of a Research Assistant!

To our Lead to Include readers, we would like to present the Summer 2023 blog series "A Look into the Work of a Research Assistant"! These blog posts are written from the perspectives of some of our incredible research assistants this summer, detailing different aspects of their educational experiences working on our research team.

For our first post of the series, we would like to present Zach Fleming's experience working on the Lead to Include "Simulations" project! Zach is a remarkable and extremely hard working research assistant that we are so glad to have on our team. To read more about his experience working as an RA and more details about the "Simulations" project, please refer to his post below!

"Hey there, I'm Zach Flaming, a Wilfrid Laurier Bachelor of Education alumnus. Working as a Research Assitant for Dr. Steve Sider for nearly two years, I've delved into a dynamic research team. Our shared mission centers on advancing inclusive education, arming schools with the tools they need to foster a learning space for all students, regardless of their background or abilities.

As a research assistant, I've had the privilege of collaborating with diverse team members and contributing to a range of projects. This summer, I took the lead in a fascinating initiative dubbed the "Simulations" project. The concept emerged from fields like aviation and nursing, where simulated training environments prepare professionals for real-world challenges. We embarked on a journey to explore how artificial intelligence could offer a similar platform for training school principals, enhancing their ability to navigate complex scenarios.

Amidst brainstorming and collaboration, my experience with the research team has been invaluable. Balancing schedules for larger and smaller group discussions, we've harvested diverse viewpoints and ideas. An obstacle arose when technical expertise was lacking; however, our teamwork thrived as we reached out to external partners to navigate this uncharted territory.

What captivated me this summer was being part of a project's inception. From the spark of an idea, I've witnessed a transformative journey. These experiences have reaffirmed my dedication to inclusive education and the potential of teamwork. This summer has been a thrilling ride."

We hope that you enjoyed this post and make sure to tune in to the upcoming posts to read more about the experiences of research assistants working on the Lead to Include team this summer and the various interesting projects they are working on!

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