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!
Dean Quilty, what's the most important thing for students to know before they arrive on campus?
Every school year is a new start and provides you an opportunity to re-define yourself or step out of your comfort zone. So, take a chance, open your mind, and see what's possible!
What do you think is the hardest part for kids to remember?
It's hard to remember that, while you're here, Berkshire is your home. Instead of thinking of this as your during the week home, really invest in the community and stick around every weekend. You'll really like what we have to offer!
What would you say is the thing that they should know now?
Well, you heard it here - learn the school motto. Here it is: Pro Vita Non Pro Schola Discimus, "Learning- not just for school but for life."
Alright, Dean Quilty, for our last question - what should kids bring that they might not expect to need?
That one's easy: Get yourself a nice head lamp that can dim. Works great in your room at night reading or outside when you're running across campus during Trivia Night.