LEO

Unique Advances in Transplant Research with Hydractinia

By Haley Dion, VI Form

Unique Advances in Transplant Research with Hydractinia

Transplantation is the future of medicine. It is an ever-evolving field of research. For three weeks this summer, I was given the opportunity to take part in the research by interning at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplant Institute. At the institute, I worked in the Nicotra Lab under the mentorship of Dr. Matthew Nicotra. The Nicotra Lab is one of the Stuart K. Patrick Research Laboratories at the Institute named after St. Mark’s alumnus, Stuart K. Patrick ’57. The lab I worked in is unique because it works with an organism that is very rarely used in research: Hydractinia

Hydractinia are invertebrates that live on hermit crab shells. These organisms are part of the cnidarian species, and they grow as colonies. Hydractinia grow mat tissue, which is the base of their colony. Within the mat, there are gastrovascular canals that allow cells to flow throughout the colony. Some Hydractinia have stolons, branched stem-like structures, that extend from their mat. Hydractinia also have polyps that protrude from the top of their mat. These polyps are tubes surrounded by tentacles that are used to consume food. In addition to the polyps that help the Hydractinia eat, there are reproductive polyps that can be used to tell whether the colony is male or female. This image illustrates the development of a Hydractinia embryo to a colony. The image shows what an adult polyp looks like, in addition to both the male and female sexual polyps. (more…)

Summer STEM: Building A Stronger and Lighter Impact Attenuator

By Zenia Alarcon, VI Form et al

Summer STEM: Building A Stronger and Lighter Impact Attenuator

I attended the Summer STEM Program at The Cooper Union, and I took the Race Car Engineer and Design course. I am interested in engineering and wanted to know if it was something I wanted to pursue in college.

An impact attenuator is an object that purposely deforms to protect the driver in a crash. Our goal: to create an impact attenuator that is stronger yet lighter then what is on the car right now and is made out of carbon fiber.

Click on Image for Full Google Slide presentation.

(more…)

Poetry: Pouring Myself into the Pages

By Kendall Sommers, III Form

Introduction from the Poet:

I enjoy writing poetry because using words creatively is an art form that acts as an outlet for me. Depicting my emotions with strings of words allows me to be more in tune to my inner self and helps me to explore different forms of expression. I am often inspired when reading my poems over again. I thoroughly enjoy seeing myself grow emotionally as a writer and as a person. The fact that there truly is always room for improvement in writing is fascinating for me. This understanding of poetry is what drives me to keep pouring myself into these pages. In addition, I also explore poetry by reading the works of other people, whether these are poems in books or magazines or the portfolios that my friends have me read over. I learn something from every line I read, and I am inspired by how open and unique every word and every writer is. I especially love the creative genre in which I write: free verse. I choose to write in a narrative tone because it allows for the story I always have to shine through. Some of my stories are emotional, some are funny, and some are seemingly meaningless, but I use all of them as a method of exploring my thoughts and seeing how they appear to other people as text. 

Below are some of my poems with explanations of how I crafted them. (more…)

CAR T Cell–Giving Cancer Patients New Hope

By Grant Gattuso and Frank Hua, VI Form

CAR T Cell–Giving Cancer Patients New Hope

This past summer we had the opportunity to work in a cancer research lab in Seattle for four weeks— a very unique experience, especially for high schoolers.  We worked in Dr. Michael Jensen’s ‘82 lab in the Ben Towne Center For Childhood Cancer Research, which is affiliated with Seattle Children’s Hospital. The lab focuses on CAR T Cell, a immunotherapy that gives cancer patients a new hope. (more…)

Vonegut’s Cat’s Cradle: Thoughts on Science, Ethics, and Being Human

By Jiwon Choi, VI Form

Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle: Thoughts on Science, Ethics, and Being Human

I am drawn to science. I always loved history and literature, too, but science made sense to me, scratched my itch in a way other subjects never did. As I did chemistry experiments or drew molecular diagrams, I felt part of a never-ending search for truth, an heir to the great, inexhaustible spirit of inquiry.

And every year I saw more evidence for the validity and even nobility of that spirit. Whether it was the laser cutter that lets me instantly carve out trophies for the little kids who come for free robotics classes on Saturdays or a news item about advancements in self-driving cars, science met my expectations time and time again, sparking my imagination and literally making my heart beat faster.

Of course, I’m not ignorant of the repercussions that come along with new discoveries. I’ve read plenty of pieces about the threats AI will pose to the workforce, and I worry about accidents involving autonomous cars. But still, when I did my mental cost-benefit analysis, science was unequivocally a net good. And besides, isn’t it science itself that will find solutions to these problems? Surprisingly to me, it was in a literature class that my attitude about science was shaken forever. Almost immediately upon beginning Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, my heart sank, filling me with an uncomfortable feeling I couldn’t resolve. (more…)

Examples of Experiences in Chinese Class

Examples of Experiences in Chinese Class

From Ms. Yuhong Xu: “My main pedagogical approach is teaching vocabulary, grammar, and speaking. I focus a lot on speaking, and my students are able to speak and communicate with a stronger confidence in and outside of class.”

On speaking by Caroline Sullivan (III Form): “Speaking is the most important part of learning Chinese. Although learning grammar and new vocab is essential to becoming fluent in Chinese, speaking and being able to communicate in the language is most important. If students only study Chinese grammar, they will never be able to make use of the language and communicate with their Chinese peers. By practicing speaking in class every day, I am making progress in mastering the language.”

Click on the image for a video of conversation in action.

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Q: What is the coolest project you have worked on at SM?

Paula Hornbostel ’20: During Lion Term in my III Form year, we showed the carbon dioxide emissions from a car by inflating a huge plastic cube, which was taller than ourselves.

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