From hands-on to virtual

first_img CfA shows schoolchildren the stars A group of area high school students spent the past year learning how to be scientists. After presenting their final projects, their mentors and teachers agreed that they had indeed made the cut.It was through the Harvard-MIT Science Research Mentoring Program (SRMP) that the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) and Bedford High School students worked on original astrophysics research. For four hours each week, the students went to the  Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA), MIT’s TESS Science Center, or its Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences Department.With the emptying of campuses, their research went virtual, working with Harvard and MIT astrophysicists mentors who taught them how to think like a scientist, perform scientific research, make predictions, interpret findings, present conclusions, work with data from a variety of telescopes, and even use Galileoscopes owned by the Harvard-MIT SRMP program.The students recently presented their yearlong research projects to each other, their mentors, teachers, and even Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui.“The cutting-edge research and the hard work — all that you’ve dedicated yourselves [to] in the last year — I can’t imagine having accomplished such things as a high school student. I’m really, really impressed by all I’ve seen,” said Siddiqui, who went on to thank Harvard and MIT for their partnership and the mentors who dedicated time to the students their projects.The high school students studied everything from exoplanets, to black matter halos, to black holes, to how to determine if stars are young or old. CRLS student Greggy Bazile, the program’s first-ever artist, studied exploration and discovery through the lens of art. He created an infographic to spur additional interest in the TESS catalog of planetary discoveries. Bazile is also credited with the program’s new logo.In pre-pandemic days, the students met for four hours each week. Afterward, they continued their work virtually and recently presented their final projects.Faith Rounds and Kikyo Hattori, both from CRLS, drew on their love of coding to create an app to help further explain the project and engage others in their growing interest of astrophysics.Together with their mentor Tansu Daylan of MIT, Kartik Pingle and Jasmine Wright wrote a paper  — currently in review at The Astrophysical Journal — about their discovery of two sub-Neptunes and a super-Earth orbiting sun-like star.Many of the students were asked if they had plans to continue their research – whether with the current teams, or perhaps even continuing this line of study when in college.  Participants seemed eager to continue to continue in some capacity in the future.“I’m really happy that I found this passion for something beyond our world,” said CRLS student Anaka Landrigan, who worked on a project about young stars with fellow CRLS student Lamisha Khan.“As an astrophysicist myself, I do often feel like the overwhelming amount of research that is needed to study every galaxy, and every star, and every planet, is a much greater task then the current cohort of scientists could possibly ever handle,” said SMRP Director Clara Sousa-Silva. “I hope that we at SRMP have proven to you that there are thousands of budding young scientists in the Boston area — and probably all over the world who could be contributing to discoveries.” CfA program shows teens the sky isn’t the limit Space to learn A large percentage of students attending the SMRP program come from the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, with Sousa-Silva giving credit to  physics teacher Tal SebellShavit.SebellShavit inturn thanked the city of Cambridge, the [Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math] STEAM Initiative, and Office of Workforce Development their support.“And a huge congrats to these students,” said SebellShavit. “I hope you can see that you have now met some of the world’s experts in these topics who not only understand it, but also know how to explain it.“I am blown away by these presentations and the students’ ability to persevere through COVID and continue to their work, and remotely figure out how to do these presentations,” he added. ITEAMS program matches CfA with Cambridge, Lynn, Fall River Relatedlast_img read more

International committee emphasizes diversity awareness

first_imgWithin the Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) is the Council of Committee Chairs (CCC), headed by senior Katie Stare and made up of 18 committee chairs and co-chairs who lead 12 different committees.Stare said the 12 committees encompass aspects of the College community such as alumnae, athletic, community, first-year concerns, food services, market research and media, mission, social concerns, Sophia Program, sustainability and technology. But one of the committees worth spotlighting, having established and accomplished noteworthy goals during the fall semester, is the international committee, Stare said.The international committee is spearheaded by co-chairs Catherine Sullivan, a senior, and sophomore Ruby Truong, who is an international student from Vietnam, Sullivan said.“As committee chairs, we arrived back on campus a week earlier than everyone else in August to work on first-year orientation, and even before that, we did group bonding time where we broke into groups and talked about our goals for the year,” Sullivan said. “Those goals are still posted in the SGA office, and we check them off as we go along.”Along with Truong, Sullivan said she recognized early in the year that the International Committee would focus on three major goals.“One of the first goals we worked towards was the diversity dinners, which bring together different cuisines and groups of international students to celebrate the diversity of our student body,” she said. “We wanted to have four or five the first year (this school year), which highlight different aspects of the culture that represents Saint Mary’s and also the tri-campus community.”Sullivan said the two diversity dinners held during the fall semester were very successful — more successful than she and Truong had predicted.“The Italian dinner, which took place in September, was the kickoff diversity dinner event, and then we had the Chinese diversity dinner in November,” she said. “They both sold out, so to speak, because each dinner is limited to 50 people, and we had some extras sneak in.”In the spring semester, Sullivan said the international committee has planned for a Tunisian dinner and a Vietnamese dinner to take place.“It’s great, because all of the food is either cooked by our students, by our faculty or is donated by local restaurants,” she said. “So we are also helping local restaurants in the South Bend community, alongside our international community.”According to Sullivan, the committee’s second goal for the year was to help the international students at Saint Mary’s make their way into the bigger community as a whole.“At Saint Mary’s, we have that issue that the international students are sort of on their own. Even at orientation, the international group is separated,” she said. “We wanted to work on integrating them as best as we could, so the Diversity Dinners work towards this goal — in that anyone can come to them, and it also teaches non-international students about other cultures.“At the Chinese dinner, we were actually taught about the seven different areas of China and the different cuisine that come with each region and why that happened and how that developed. One of our Fulbright scholars did the presentation on it, so that was really great.”The third and final goal of the committee is the International Buddy Program, which pairs each new international student with a returning student, Sullivan said.“Basically, you sign up to be a roommate for an international student and end up rooming with the person,” she said. “This way, the international students can easily feel a part of the community and have a friend base, which intertwines with our second goal.”This program will begin during the spring semester or next fall and will be organized under an application process and facilitated by the international committee and Residence Hall Association.“This will majorly help with the rooming situation for international students because oftentimes these students are juniors or seniors who get randomly paired with first-year students, and it doesn’t work out so well,” Sullivan said. “And single [dorms] are a bad idea because they don’t get to practice English or meet anyone.”Tags: international committee, saint mary’s, sga, SMClast_img read more

Oneonta City School District goes remote following positive COVID-19 cases

first_imgAdditionally, several district staff members were found to be close contacts of individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus. ONEONTA (WBNG) — The Oneonta City School District will be going fully remote starting Thursday, Nov. 19. According to the district’s website, remote learning will through at least until Monday, Nov. 30. District officials said the decision came after OCSD was notified of a positive COVID-19 case involving a staff member at the Oneonta Middle School. District superintendent Thomas Brindley said those cases have a “substantial” impact on school buildings.center_img Brindley is hopeful to have students return to the hybrid learning model if the buildings are deemed safe on Nov. 30. Despite the switch, the district said students in the New Visions, BOCES CTE, and Full-day BOCES programs will attend school as normal. For more information from the district, click here.last_img read more

London CIV hires four managers for £6bn worth of mandates

first_imgThe authorisation sees the London CIV recognised as an alternative investment fund manager (AIFM), in line with the European Directive by the same name.Assets are held within an Authorised Contractual Scheme, the UK’s tax-transparent fund.Grover said a large part of the £6bn expected to be in London CIV sub-funds by the end of the financial year would be passively managed equities, overseen by Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) and BlackRock.LGIM and BlackRock will each manage three sub-funds, he said.Baillie Gifford will be in charge of a second actively managed global equity sub-fund, as well as a standalone diversified growth fund.Grover added that the London CIV now employed six people and would hire a seventh soon.The new staff includes Julian Pendock as investment oversight director, and Brian Lee as COO.Pendock joins from the London council of Brent, where he was the council fund’s investment and pensions manager, a role he assumed after five years at Senhouse Capital, latterly as its CIO.He has also worked at JP Morgan Chase and Bedlam Asset Management.Bob Kerslake, former permanent secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), will chair the London CIV’s board.Kerslake retired from the DCLG in February this year and, until September 2014, was head of the UK’s civil service.Prior to that, he was chief executive of Sheffield City Council, and chief executive of the Homes & Communities Agency, the public body in charge of affordable housing in England.Chris Bilsland and Eric MacKay have also joined the board, appointed as non-executive directors.Until 2013, Bisland was chamberlain of the City of London, the council’s financial director.MacKay is currently head of legal, risk and compliance at asset manager TT International, and was previously F&C’s chief risk officer. The London collective investment vehicle (CIV) for the capital’s local authority funds has named its first four managers, to be in charge of £6bn (€8.5bn) in equity mandates.Allianz Global Investors will be in charge of the first sub-fund to be launched by the London CIV.The active global equity fund has attracted more than £500m from three of the participating local government pension schemes, chief executive Hugh Grover said.Grover added that a further eight sub-funds were expected to be launched by the end of the financial year, possible after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorised the vehicle.last_img read more