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Advanced Math/Science Research Experiences


Virus Hunters

SUNDAY, JULY 7 - FRIDAY, JULY 12

Ages: Rising 6th-9th graders
Cost: $1,575

Bacteriophage (phages) are viruses of bacteria and are the most abundant entities on Earth with estimates of 1031 bacteriophage total on this planet; that’s 10 quadrillion quadrillion phages. Each of these phages are genetically unique, and hold evolutionary stories from past infections and recombinations. In this summer experience, virus hunters will isolate their own very bacteriophage virus from soil samples from local Berkshire farms. These bacterial viruses will then be purified, characterized with molecular biology assays, and visualized with our Transmission Electron Microscope. The DNA from each virus will also be isolated for sequencing at a later date. Viruses will then be named by the hunter who found it (you get to name your own phage!!) and submitted to the University of Pittsburgh Phages Database which Berkshire School has been a contributor for the past seven years.

Topics: Biology, Chemistry, Microbiology, Virology, Molecular Biology

Techniques/Skills Learned: Laboratory Safety, Basic Solution Preparation, Microbiology Media Preparation, Sterile Technique, Serial Dilutions, Virus Plaque Assays, DNA Isolation, Restriction Enzyme Digestion, Electrophoresis, Sample Preparation for Negative Staining, and Operation of the Transmission Electron Microscope.

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Cells Around Us

SUNDAY, JULY 14 - FRIDAY, JULY 19

Ages: Rising 6th-9th graders
Cost: $1,575

Students in this course will investigate the differences between good and bad bacteria while researching basic genetic engineering using bacterial cells and current events on genetic engineering. Nerve cells and how they communicate are explored as well as analyzing and understating action potential using the SpikerBox.

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Environmental Science & Education for Sustainability

SUNDAY, JULY 21 - FRIDAY, JULY 26

Ages: Rising 6th-9th graders
Cost: $1,575

Students in this course will experience place-based immersion in the local environment, spending considerable class time outside, learning and connecting with the diversity of ecosystems that make up the Berkshires. Field and laboratory investigations, scientific method, and critical thinking and problem solving will all be learned about and conducted throughout the week. Students will learn about the interrelationships of Earth’s ecosystems, atmosphere, climate, soils, energy, weather, and populations. This course will bring focus to solutions and learning our way towards a more sustainable future for all.

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For more information on Summer Programs at Berkshire contact:  

Jeff Depelteau
Director of Summer Programsjdepelteau@berkshireschool.org
413-229-1207


 

Berkshire School Campus