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!

Journalism students at ESPN
Posted 02/27/2011 11:40AM

Journalism students visit ESPN

By Alex Perkins ’11

Twelve lucky students in the Advanced Journalism class recently took a field trip to the vast ESPN complex in Bristol, Conn., ninety minutes away from Berkshire School.

One would think that a big media outlet like ESPN, which features ten buildings and two campuses in Bristol, would be headquartered in New York or Los Angeles or some other big city. But one of the first things Allison, our tour guide, told us was that ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen and his son Scott were big sports fans, especially of local teams such as the Hartford Whalers, Bristol Red Sox and the UConn Huskies. They originally planned to start a cable television network broadcasting news and sports of these Connecticut teams, but then realized that they could expand the project to the world.

That they did, and now ESPN is truly “The Worldwide Leader in Sport.”  On the tour, we visited many studios familiar to radio and TV audiences and sat in the chairs of hosts  “Mike and Mike in the Morning” and “Baseball Tonight.”

We visited a room dedicated to researchers for ESPN’s Web site, a hard job to get, according to Allison.  “You have to take three or four tests just to prove that you know your sports, before you can even qualify to have an interview with us,” she said.

We also got a chance to see the cabinet full of Emmy awards won by ESPN and to walk down the hallway where the network shoots its comical commercials.  Visible from the many large windows is the mountain ridge where 31 satellite dishes, including one of the largest in the world, transmit the programming. 

For many kids, working at ESPN seems to be a dream job:  getting paid to watch your favorite sports and picking out the highlight reels from each game. The tour gave us a real sense of how such a vast big television corporation such as ESPN works Working for the Green & Gray at Berkshire, gives you a small sense of what it is like to work in media, but going to ESPN was the real deal.

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