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!
Susie Norris '79 and librarian, Emily Warner are teaching a B period course called The Play's The Thing. On Monday, Jennie Jadow '95 (winner of Princeton Cup, Berkshire Dramatics Cup, & Ray Weston Memorial Theater Prize) and Kevin Coleman (Co-Founder & Director of Education, Shakespeare & Company) guest-taught the class. They brought swords and daggers and got the group on its collective feet to learn some fighting!
Ms. Norris, who works in Berkshire's Development office, also won the The Dramatics Cup and the Rovensky Prize for Independent Study in '79, for a play she directed. She says that, "Jennie Jadow '95 and I both prospered from our work with Irene McDonald, a legendary Berkshire teacher and coach, who taught us the joy of theater is for life!"
She describes Monday's workshop this way: "With Shakespeare and Company on the Allen stage, I got to learn and remember. Choreography and principles of Shakespearean swordplay are new for me, so I learned that "knees are full of mischief" from Kevin and Jennie. Shakespeare's words "my voice is in my sword" resonated with new power when I heard Berkshire students yell them at me very loudly and charge me with their swords! I got to remember what fun can be had on stage, what confidence can be developed and what friendships can form."
Another successful day of Pro Vita under the mountain!
See a video of the class sword fighting here: