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 Berkshire Scholar
The Berkshire Scholar is an annual publication that features select academic essays. The second edition, representing work produced during the 2011-12 school year, has just been published.
Click here to view.
Evan Clary, English Department Chair, champions the effort to highlight student analytical work for the community through this publication. "The Berkshire faculty is committed to not only the teaching of good academic writing but also the celebration of it, wherever such writing occurs in our curriculum. In an image-heavy world, there remain many students whose talents for expository and analytical prose, for argument and research, deserve recognition. The Berkshire Scholar seeks to provide this recognition, and at the same time, to offer models for students in all sort of classes to study and follow. We're proud to be able to offer this publication to the greater community."
Clay Splawn, Academic Dean, is enthusiastic about the role this publication plays in fostering a robust intellectual tradition at the school. “The Berkshire Scholar is one the ways that we celebrate Berkshire's rich academic culture. Like on-campus visits from off-campus experts, most recently social entrepreneur Alvaro Rodriguez Arrigui ’85 , research scientist Dr. Valerie Bolivar and Yale lecturer and author Carl Zimmer, or the option of competitive academic teams like Quiz Bowl, Debate Team, Model UN, the Scholar demonstrates that Berkshire's academic culture extends well beyond the classroom walls.”