Advanced Math/Science Research Update
by Dr. April Burch, Director of the AMSR program
January 15, 2013
Since our last update, Berkshire School hosted student researchers from Belmont Hill, and all-boys prep school outside of Boston, for a 1-day mini-symposium on Student Biomedical Research. The goal was to foster collaboration, communication and community outreach with our students. AMSR students Liza Bernstein '13, Sissi Wang '13, Lars Robinson '13, Elsie Guevara '13, Ernest Yue '13, and Nate MacKenzie '14, gave short talks about their work in the new Bellas/Dixon Math and Science lecture hall. The talks were followed up by break-out sessions where Belmont Hill students described their research projects and students discussed commonalities between the projects and future goals.
The second semester of AMSR started with some terrific news. The AMSR program was awarded a grant from The Chinchester Dupont Foundation for the purchase of an EVOS fluorescence microscope. This piece of equipment will expand the types of experiments and analyses that can be done by AMSR students this and future years. The microscope should arrive shortly, and Dr. Burch has invited everyone to stop in for a look next time they are on campus.
One new, exciting project that is underway in the winter season of AMSR in the afternoons is being spearheaded by Elif Kesaf '14. Elif is from Turkey and seeks to identify novel viruses of non-pathogenic strains of Legionella bacterium from travertines in Pamukkale. In collaboration with Dr. Sunny Shin at the Perlman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, she will be working to isolate viruses of this bacterium with the hope of identifying new agents to combat Legionnaires' disease caused by a pathogenic form of Legionella.
Look for more news from Dr. Burch in the next issue!
The students in ESL Advanced Writing visited the Norman Rockwell Museum recently where they got a taste of American culture and history through the paintings of Norman Rockwell. Tom Daly, Director of the Museum’s education department, took the students through “Moments in History” using Rockwell’s paintings. "I liked the pictures a lot," said Lasse Elias Krause '12 of Germany. "The tour was very helpful to let us know more about the artist." Daud Baz '13 of Afghanistan agreed and added, "I liked his paintings because they described how people lived and how they behaved." Louisa Boltz '13 of Germany appreciated Rockwell's narrative flair as well. "It was interesting because he tells a story with every picture."
After their tour with Tom Daly, the students were on their own to view Rockwell’s paintings at their own pace. They also had to prepare for a writing project in which they will use a painting of their own choosing as a springboard for a piece of creative writing.