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!
Berkshire School has been working with Lucid Design Group to build an energy dashboard that will track real-time energy use in many of the school’s building as well as energy production of the school’s 2MW solar field. Students, alumni, faculty and staff can now interact with the dashboard here.
The dashboard will help Berkshire:
- Monitor and Display Building Energy and Water Usage-- to occupants and managers enabling resource reduction
- Host Engaging Competitions-- that save energy and money, and motivate behavior change throughout Berkshire School
- Build a Social Platform for Sustainability-- and communicate internally to occupants and employees and externally to the public
- Track Progress Toward Sustainability Goals-- such as energy reduction and carbon neutrality
- Improve Collaboration and Align Stakeholders -- through increased transparency of Berkshire’s sustainability initiatives
Berkshire’s long term climate action plan includes metering all major buildings for electricity and oil use. As real time monitoring expands to all buildings, Berkshire will be in a strong position to maximize energy efficiency, maximize savings, and minimize our carbon emissions due to energy use.
-- Frank Barros, Director of Sustainability