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!
Quiz Bowl Club
On Saturday, April 7th, the newly formed Berkshire Quiz Bowl club travelled to Storrs, CT to compete in the third annual Connecticut Invitational (CT INV III), hosted by E.O. Smith High School on the campus of the University of Connecticut. Due to the ever-increasing interest in the quiz bowl club, Berkshire was able to bring two squads, Team (A)pollo and Team (B)acchus, in a field of 14 teams. With questions ranging from “name this Czech composer of Jenufa” to “what material was used in the Geiger-Marsden experiment to disprove the plum pudding model of the atom,” and from “with grandson Charlemagne, who defeated the Moors at Tours in 732 C.E.” to “what city created by Moloch was the seat of Satan in Milton’s most famous epic poem,” the Berkshire teams performed very well. Like most quiz bowl tournaments, the CT INV III was a round-robin competition, with teams in each of two brackets competing against everyone else in their respective divisions, for a total of eight rounds. At the end of the regular rounds, Berkshire’s Team Apollo, in the tougher of the two brackets, won five and lost three, qualifying for the play-offs. Then, in the play-offs, Team Apollo lost to the first seed Hanover (NH) in single elimination, but finished in seventh place overall. Team Bacchus, participating in its first-ever quiz bowl tournament, fought hard all day and won one round. Notable individual performances included those of Unyime Udoh (V form) who finished in eleventh place, and Eliza Farley (V form) who finished in fourteenth place, in a field of 54 competitors.
Click here to read about the Quiz Bowl Club's recent competition at MIT. This article also gives a good overview of the club.
-- Evan Clary, English Department Chair and faculty mentor to the Quiz Bowl team