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’s studio artists made a recent visit to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, (Mass MoCA, www.massmoca.org ) in North Adams, MA to study large-scale installation sculpture.
The Mass MoCA trip was very meaningful to me. I enjoy contemporary art and I thought that Mass MoCA was as interesting as the Guggenheim and MoMA in New York City. The museum itself is a converted factory, and I found its loft setting very interesting. –Corey Gary
The trip to the Mass MOCA was an insightful and inspiring experience. Witnessing an artist's work first hand is always an eye-opening look at how they view the world around them and chose to express their feelings on it. –Sean Taillefer’12
We began our tour with a discussion on Portia Munson’s impressive collected object assemblages on themes of gender in society, considered the power of mood and tone in Petah Coyne’s dark works, took inspiration for our next projects from the “Material World” exhibit, and stood in awe of Katharina Grosse’s enormous white Styrofoam “bergs” standing in stark contrast to islands of spray-painted mounds of dirt, rocks, and debris.
What impressed me the most was the “kids place,” where an artist had two very big projects about the genders, one was all in pink and the other one was all in blue. It was an extremely different project that in a way was very frightening because it felt like it was screaming out at you, about the expectations of girls and boys. –Katharina Kreke’12
There were a few art works that I thought were very amazing, but the one that I was most impressed by was the huge sculpture in the Material World section. When I saw it, I couldn't help wondering how they could build such a fine sculpture out of fishing lines. –Phuong Nguyen’12
The trip concluded with the immense Sol Lewitt retrospective exhibit, a 4-story collection of the artist’s large wall paintings. Stay tuned to the Arts section for more news from Berkshire’s visual arts department.
-- Linda D'Arco, Visual Arts Teacher