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!

Celebrating the Year of the Snake
Posted 02/21/2013 12:08PM


Students Celebrate Chinese New Year

In order to celebrate Chinese New Year (Feb. 10 - Feb. 24), an important holiday in Chinese culture, I invited students from Chinese I to Chinese V to my house to learn how to make dumplings and use chopsticks, the eighth year I have done this.

Below are some student impressions of the event:

“In an effort to become more culturally enriched, we students of Chinese IV went to Ms. Xu’s house for an entire period and made dumplings in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Although some of us found it immensely challenging to fold dumplings in perfect form, the period was full of laughter and learning as we practiced our Chinese with not one, but two native speakers, Ms. Xu and her husband, Mr. Guo, both of whom were extremely welcoming and happy to host us in celebration of this monumental holiday. “
-- Matthis Wieczorek, Cyrus Alizadeh, William Rhodes

“I have been making dumplings at Mrs. Xu’s house for four years. It is amazing to see the difference between genuine Chinese food, prepared from scratch with real ingredients, and that that you might find in any Americanized Chinese restaurant. Although using chopsticks can sometimes be difficult, the experience is an invaluable way to experience Chinese culture away from the classroom.”
-- Eliza Farley in Chinese V

“The time we spent at Ms. Xu’s home celebrating Chinese New Year was not only enjoyable but was also eye-opening. The making and eating of dumplings is something that I can see every Chinese person doing during this special holiday. Speaking with Mr. Guo was extremely fun; I only wish I could have asked him more. Learning not only how to make dumplings, even using special Chinese ingredients like the tree fungus mo er, but also about their significance to the New Year was important to me”
-- Noah Faison in Chinese III

“Making dumplings with Xulaoshi during long period was a treat. I really felt like I was experiencing real Chinese culture. The dumplings were delicious and reminded us all of the rich Chinese culture that comes with the language.”
-- Ethan Jadow in Chinese I


--- Lu Xu, Chinese teacher

Berkshire School

245 North Undermountain Road
 |  Sheffield, MA 01257
 |  T: 413 229 8511

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