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!
Pro Vita 2013: Preview
A perennial favorite among students and faculty alike, Berkshire celebrates a component of our mission, “fostering an enduring love for learning,” with a week dedicated to the school motto, Pro Vita Non Pro Schola Discimus. This year, this special week takes place February 25 - March 2.
Pro Vita 2013 will feature some well-known and highly regarded courses from previous years including The Other Side of the Badge, The Literature and Art of Fly Fishing, and Learning through Play. These are complimented by a wide array of new offerings including an engineering course, a writing for television class taught by two former TV producers, an analysis of successful urban design, and a philosophy course examining the existence of God from the perspective of St. Augustine, St. Anselm, and St. Aquinas.
Click here to view the Pro Vita 2013 Course Catalog.
Four excursions are on tap for this year’s Pro Vita. Students will travel north to summit Mount Katahdin, the terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Another group will fly south to flight school in Florida where they’ll learn to pilot a plane and undergo a rigorous ground school training program. Eight students will travel to Nosara, Costa Rica to work on a monkey sanctuary and perform community service in the local town. Finally, sixteen students will head south to attend a weeklong program in reef ecology and sustainability at the Island School in the Bahamas.
Click here to read more about these four excursions.
Evening events will include student performances at our annual Jazz Café, A Capella-Palooza featuring college group performances along with Berkshire’s own Greensleaves and Ursa Minor, and our annual evening guest lecture series. This year’s speakers include New Yorker political commentator and Berkshire alumnus Ryan Lizza '92 who provided extensive coverage of President Obama during his first term in office. In addition to Mr. Lizza, Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actress Amber Tamblyn will share her poetry from her bestselling collection Bang, Ditto.
-- Jasper Turner, Pro Vita Director