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!
Advanced Econ. at Yale
Advanced Economics students travelled to Yale University to attend a seminar entitled "Business Writing and Presentations" taught by Yale School of Management professor Maureen Burke. In addition to the seminar, the students also enjoyed a personal tour of Kroon Hall at the Yale Forestry School. The field trip dovetails perfectly with the class’ year-long project that will culminate in groups of students presenting their own business plans to a panel of esteemed judges from both Yale and the business world. The Berkshire project is modeled on the Sabin Prize at Yale and is a great opportunity for our students to learn from experts in the field as well as see firsthand the steps involved in entrepreneurship.
"It was interesting to be able to go to a graduate school level lecture at Yale and still be able to understand and absorb the material using the background knowledge gained in our class at Berkshire," said Gordon Bogardus '12.
"It was a great opportunity being able to go to Yale," added Kelsey West '12. "Having the chance to learn in a college setting and being able to talk to faculty as well as current students about entrepreneurship was awesome. What we learned from the lectures is directly related to what we have been learning in class but it was fun being able to get out of the classroom and learn about entrepreneurship plans from people who are currently working on creating something."
-- Dan Skoglund, Advanced Economics teacher