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By Kendall Sommers, V Form
Science Site Analysis: A Mountain School Project
Student Note: This fall, I took a semester off from St.Mark’s and attended a semester school in Vershire, Vermont called The Mountain School. It’s a school focused on outdoor education and connection. We had two required courses, English and Environmental Science. After each unit in e-sci, we would have a final reflection where we wrote chapters on all the topics we had covered. The point of this project was to have a book at the end of the course containing all the content we had learned. Included below is my 3rd chapter, my science site. This unit was a little different from the others; we picked a place in the woods on campus and analyzed it over the course of the fall months. The idea of this project was to learn to be independently observant and develop our scientific analytical skills. Also, it connects to the school’s mission statement regarding building a connection to a place. The project below included my description of my site, my map and timeline I created, and my hypothesis regarding the history of the site.
Chapter 3: Science Site Analysis
Directions: To get to my center point you must first sign out on the board with a faculty member (rule number 2!) and then begin walking on the inner loop clockwise. Continue along the loop until you reach Siberia, then take a left onto the trail leading up to pine top. Here, the grass will be a bit taller and you will see a tree on the left of the path with a really long branch that turns up at a right angle. Now, walk uphill on this path until you reach another path going off to the right. Follow this path downhill for about 60 paces until you reach my site’s center point! You will know you have arrived if the trees around you are mainly coppiced white pines and to your right (south west) there is a clearer section of the woods with no canopy, but filled with ferns. The site is on a hill facing the SE, so check your compass. Also, far to the left you will see the canopy begin to change, but most of the area around you should be filled with those big coppiced white pines, white ash trees, and sugar maples. Are you there? Wonderful! There is so much more at my site to discover, let’s dive in!(more…)
By Domenic (Dom) Mongillo and Aditya Mynampaty, VI Form
Understanding and Building a Tesla Coil: A Matthews Fund Grant
The Matthews Fund provides grants to students of any form who are good citizens and solid students. Awards are based on merit and need as determined by a faculty committee. Grants are made for special needs such as tutoring assistance, special instruction, seminars, academic experiences of a national or international nature, and personal growth and advancement opportunities.
Last year, we applied for and were fortunate to receive the Matthews Grant. Our hope was to use the resources given to us from the fund to further our understanding of electronics by building Tesla coils. We expanded upon this idea by using our Fifth Form Lion Term as an opportunity to build these coils while studying the complicated electronics inside of them with the help of resources from the school. We then continued to work on the coils throughout the summer and into this academic year. From this experience, we have learned an incredible amount about electronics and about the work and determination that goes into a complicated engineering feat.
In addition to funds for purchasing Tesla coil kits, spare parts, and equipment needed to construct the coils, our grant also enabled us to take a trip to the Museum of Science in Boston. The museum featured an exhibit called Lightning! that included a variety of machines that demonstrated electronic principles like the world’s largest Van de Graaff Generator, plasma balls, and, of course, several very large Tesla coils. We visited this exhibit and studied the coils, and we were able to go onstage after the presentation to talk with one of the people who worked to build the coils used in the demonstrations.(more…)
By Jiwon Choi, VI Form
Editor’s Note: This STEM Fellowship project by Jiwon won the Worcester Regional Science and Engineering Fair (1st out of 130+ students). She placed third out of all 200+ projects at the Massachusetts Science and Engineering Fair allowing her to compete at 2019 ISEF in Phoenix.
Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is one of the most promising methods of tissue engineering as it provides unprecedented versatility and precision in delivering cells and biomaterials to desirable places. However, limitations still exist in the availability of bioinks with natural bio-macromolecular components. In this research, chicken albumin is evaluated as a potential bioink for direct extrusion bioprinting of hollow constructs through alginate-templated crosslinking. Channel diameter, wall thickness, and bioink feed rates are calculated to assess the printing performance of the alginate-based bioink. It is shown that an albumin-based bioink with as low as 1.33% of total alginate concentration can be employed to successfully print microfibrous hollow constructs with a uniform diameter.
By Reina Wang, Maya Scully, Michael Fisher, Arthur Gao, III Form and Grace Zawadzki, V Form
Spread No More: The Effect Global Aid Has on the Spread of Tuberculosis
Editor’s Note: The Global Seminar teaching team works with all III Formers on an infectious disease project. This is a complex project that involves group work with other members of the III Form and with V Form biology mentors. The final result is exhibited in a poster session, allowing for visitors to do a gallery walk and have questions answered by the poster’s creators.
ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that threatens health and life throughout the history, but with the help of global aid, there has been a solution to decrease the number of contagious people, especially in developing countries. It is a disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is a bacteria mainly attacking lung surfaces since it spreads through air. Latent and active tuberculosis are two types of the disease, in which latent tuberculosis does not show any symptoms while active tuberculosis does. The most common treatment is a prescribed combination of isoniazid and rifampin, but it only works if the patient completes the procedure and takes the medicine regularly. With the assistance of global aid, there have been many non-governmental organizations (NGO) dedicated to the treatment of tuberculosis worldwide. They offer treatments and technologies to developing countries which does not have access to them. Even if the volunteers who work at the NGOs have the possibilities to carry the bacteria when traveling and spread it to other places, global aid has made huge progress in dealing with tuberculosis. Global aid will influence more and more countries so that tuberculosis will slowly be dissolved in the near future.
By Danny Ciccarello and Helen Huang, V Form
Explaining Length Contraction
Editor’s Note: In “Modern Topics Physics,” students created videos to explain different topics associated with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. The aim of the assignment included explaining the chosen topic in simple terms while avoiding the use of complicated equations.
By Clara Hua, IV Form
Annotated Diagram: Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Editor’s Note: The “Biology 30” class zoomed in to examine the cellular (and sub-cellular) impacts and zoomed out to consider some of the economic, geo-political, environmental and cultural factors that have an influence on the spread of this disease. An Annotated Diagram is a formal sketchnote that aims to demonstrate understanding of the information by presenting how the information (the full story of HIV/AIDS) was processed.
By Matt Walsh, VI Form, Laura Sabino, V Form, and Maddie Wass, V Form
Mitotic Cell Division Artifact of Learning
Editor’s Note: See the image below of the whiteboard artifact images for the description of the assignment in Advanced Biology.
By Cadence (Catie) Summers, IV Form
Green Sea Turtle – Chelonia mydas & Marine Turtle Exhibition
Green Sea Turtle – Chelonia mydas
Stage in Maturity – Adult (more…)