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!
A Tasty Application of Classroom Skills
Chinese III students recently took a field trip to The East Chinese Restaurant in nearby Great Barrington to put their language skills to the test. Students, speaking only in Chinese, had to order their favorite items from the menu and converse with the waitstaff. Here is what the six students thought about this special trip:
“Going to the East was a good experience to actually test out my Chinese skills in real life. Speaking to a native Chinese speaker made me be more conscious about using the right grammar and tones because normal Chinese people would not be trained like Ms. Xu to understand a foreigner trying to speak Chinese. It was confidence boost to see that I can actually deliver my message using my Chinese skills.” - Seyoon Lee ‘12
“I enjoyed going to the East and ordering Chinese food in Chinese. I think it is very helpful to speak with native Chinese people; although it can be difficult to comprehend what they are saying, I believe that it is the best way to learn how to speak the language.” - Matthis Wieczorek ‘14
“It was a fun experience. Going to a Chinese restaurant made me really happy, not only because I loved the food, but also because I learned more Chinese. In the restaurant, we learned new words that we hadn’t learned in the class. I learned how to say 'roll' and 'tuna' in Chinese. It was such a fun experience, and I would love to go once more.” - Soo Jang Choi ’13
“I really enjoyed going to the East as a field trip for Chinese III. It really made me feel like we were in China. Even though I go to China often, my parents always order for me. When I traveled to China last year during Pro Vita Week, we did not order in Chinese as most waiters did not expect us to know the language and instead conversed with us in English. Not only was the East meal really good, but I loved the experience and hope to do it more often. “- Catherine Xu ‘14
Going to the East Chinese Restaurant and speaking Chinese to the waiters and waitresses allowed the class to practice our Chinese, both speaking and listening comprehension." - Craig Alizadeh ‘13
“I thought our trip to the restaurant was a very successful activity and helped me to understand the material a lot better. The activity allowed me to use the vocabulary and sentence patterns we learned in a real life situation.” - Will Rhodes ‘13
Obviously, everyone enjoyed this field trip as they not only practiced what they have learned in class but also learned new things by using the target language in a meaningful way.
-- Lu Xu, Chinese teacher