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 French Revolution Through Theater/Film
Prior to Thanksgiving break, each of my two sections of Modern World History performed and recorded a six act play as the culmination of our work on the French Revolution and Napoleon. Our goals in class for this project were to inspire an emotional connection to the material, to master basic themes of these historical events, to practice public speaking, and to have some fun. Each class first did a table read of a rough script which we edited as a class, cutting and adding as the students saw fit. Roles were then assigned and the next day we started shooting. The two sections were able to shoot and edit the whole project over the course of about a week, and, in the end, each class produced an approximately 10-minute video of their play. We then were able to view our finished product in class and debrief on what could be adjusted for classes in the future. The project was not without its challenges, but I would rate it as one of the high points of our work in Modern World History thus far this year.
To view the performances by each class, follow the links below:
MWH - D Period - https://vimeo.com/53072164
MWH - F Period - https://vimeo.com/53189322
-- Evan Nielsen, History teacher, V Form Dean