At a time when all course instruction had been moved online, it seemed wishful thinking for a group of undergraduate students to begin authentic, independent research. With curious, creative, and motivated mindsets; however, we learned not only that such research was possible during a global pandemic, but that it could provide vital learning opportunities in our careers as students and scientists. Guided by mentors of UW-Madison’s honors biology Biocore program, we worked as a team of three undergraduate scientists and were given significant autonomy over all aspects of our research project. We planned, conducted, and communicated our science and here we provide a commentary of our learning throughout the process, as well as recommendations for instructors of other undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and math programs based on the factors that best facilitated our learning.

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