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!
Sabin Entrepreneurial Prize Presentations
"Open Doors Live," consisting of Britt Brown '13, Sam Clougher '13 and Sam Friedman '13, took home top honors at the Second Annual Sabin Entrepreneurial Prize competition last Friday. The Sabin Prize is an initiative created with the generous support of the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation to educate and expose students in Advanced Economics to entrepreneurship and sustainability. A panel of guest alumni and parent judges provided feedback and selected the winning group out of a total of five groups in Dan Skoglund's Advanced Economics class.
To see a replay of the presentations, click here.
The Sabin Entrepreneurial Prize is awarded annually to the best business plan for a product, service, project or program that not only could be financially feasible, but could contribute to living in more sustainable communities. The competition provides quality feedback from business professionals, collaboration with the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, and opportunities for participants to meet with guest speakers from the business and environmental worlds.
The winning business plan for "Open Doors Live," proposed that the company would serve as an "intermediary to successfully connect musical artists with venues (bars, restaurants, etc.) in local communities. This is achieved through helping unsigned artists find venues to perform live music at as well as streamlining the booking process for both venue and artist. The online service will include a profile containing a basic introduction to the artist, a resume with experience and references, plus sample musical pieces. Furthermore, it will include a downloading service to promote musical exposure for the artist. Utilizing this information, we will assist restaurants and bars in increasing their revenue by attracting more customers through live music performances."
To read the business plans from all the groups, click here.
Berkshire was pleased to welcome four alumni and one parent to the panel of judges which included Dr. Rosemary Fitzgerald '82, Bobby Moran '87, Tony Saxton '89, Vernon Taylor '68 and Joe Shalleck, parent of Connor Shalleck '16. The event was started through the commitment, enthusiasm and generosity of Andrew Sabin, parent of Sam Sabin '13.
To read more about the judges, click here.
"This was a wonderful night for Berkshire," said Interim Head of School Pieter Mulder." He continued, "I was really impressed with the quality of the presentations, the polish of the presenters and the level of discourse between the students and visiting judges. It was clear that we were seeing the culmination of a year's worth of hard work. Congratulations to all the students, and many thanks to the alumni and parents who joined us for this special evening."
Advanced Economics teacher Dan Skoglund was enthusiastic about the impact the experience had on students. “The Sabin Prize business plan competition is a unique and valuable academic exercise for Berkshire students to be exposed to economics and entrepreneurship. Most importantly, it challenges the students to work within a team on a long term project that culminates in the students publicly presenting their business plans to a panel of judges comprised of business leaders and executives. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the students' presentations and their effort and preparedness were clearly evident in each business plan presented to the judges. I couldn't be more proud of them!”