The Final Class Exhibition!

All good things must come to an end! Friday marked the end of major and minor classes for the program here in Boston, and students were eager to share their newly accumulated knowledge with their peers, teachers, and staff. An exhibition was held to showcase samples of what the students had learned and discussed in their respective classes.

The economics major class was split into two groups, and each group presented a discussion on two different topics. The groups discussed topics pertaining to the role of the Federal Reserve, inflation, and unemployment, and expertly explained the intricate concepts and terms underlying each.

The International Law major presented a live mock trial, imitating and trying the case of the Nicaragua v. the United States. There were lawyers representing both sides, a bailiff, three judges, and even a court interruption from the Nicaraguan Contras themselves! The class did a great job of demonstrating their knowledge of a real historical case and how a courtroom works.

Members of the Government and Politics class each presented personal hypotheses they had used over the course of the class to cultivate their understanding of political systems over the course of the program. Each student discussed their research, and final conclusions, and why they believed their hypothesis was corroborated or incorrect. Questions touched upon the influence of Hong Kong on Chinese economies, Hungary and the EU, and Japan’s economic state.

The Medicine Major class presented their research on the phenotyping of mice spleens. The students worked with real life mice spleens! They described the process, and the overall results of the project with great expertise!

The Computer Science major illustrated a few of their programming skills and presented some of their projects, including a calculator that is able to calculate Oxbridge house points. They were so eager to present their amazing apps!

Minor classes also received spotlight. Andriana from the public speaking class presented a beautifully sculpted faux-ted talk looking into the deeper meaning behind ice cream flavors, and intricacies of the world. The Emerging Pathogens minor illustrated the interesting movement of an extremely viral disease. The International Law minor discussed the importance of the Myanmar Rohingya crisis.

Afterwards, awards were given by faculty, deans, and activities directors to students who went above and beyond! Overall it was a great final night together and the students were proud to show off their hard work!

Reflections from medicine students

As a medicine student, I had the incredible opportunity to visit the Harvard Museum of Natural History along with my peers. We visited a variety of exhibitions which contributed significantly to our understanding of scientific research, immunology, and other fields within medicine. Furthermore, this visit has provided us with the opportunity to discuss possible solutions to worldwide issues such as antibiotic resistance. Exploring the Museum has also allowed us to dive deep into the links present between the human biology we have been studying with that of animals through means of evolution.

What really sparked my interest was seeing the Lily Simonson: Painting the Deep exhibition which consisted of 6 large paintings depicting deep ocean life and the wonder associated with scientific discovery and exploration. All the artworks were comprised of luminescent materials emphasising’s the beauty and curiosity of life. Another highlight was the microbiome area which provided an insight into how people interact with microscopic organisms in everyday life.

Overall, I found the visit to be extremely interesting and exciting. It was an incredible opportunity which has allowed me to learn more about a topic I find fascinating. Take me back! (By Lily Rogers)

 

(By Risa Ito) Throughout the four weeks here at Harvard, I’ve learned a lot from my major and minor classes, met new friends, and got the chance to explore Boston. For our neuropsychology minor class, after learning about the brain regions and neurons in class, we got the chance to visit the MIT museum. The exhibit was called The Beautiful Brain and we spent around two hours there.

There were numerous different artworks that are related to the brain and neurons. The painting shown above is called the “Brainbow.” Brainbow is a technique that is used to distinguish each individual neurons into different colors. The painting perfectly represents the neurons in our brain. I believe that this is an extremely unique way to show the world what a neuron looks like. The artist made it easy for viewers to understand the painting: the colorful dots are the cell bodies while the long stretchy lines are the axons and dendrites.

The other image below shows the fiber tracts of the brain in a healthy adult. The nerve fibers look like bundles of strings all over the place. The different color of the fiber represents different directions the fibers are going. For example, the green fibers carry signals from the front to back and the red fibers go from the left to right. Personally, I found this piece of artwork appealing because of all the colors that were utilized and how the artist was able to turn an extremely complex part of our brain into art. Overall, the museum allowed me to not just to learn more about the brain itself but also created the chance for me to reflect upon what I’ve been learning in class.

 

A visit to Amnesty International with International Law minor!

This morning, the International Law minor class ventured into the depths of Downtown Boston near South Station to head to the Nonprofit Centre building, which hosts the world-renowned Amnesty International corporation. Amnesty International prides itself in being the world’s largest grassroots non-profit organisation, which intervenes to raise and protect against the perpetrators who commit violations of human rights. The Amnesty International has followers and activists following programmes in more than 150 countries, and over 3 million followers world-wide.

 

 

 

As of now, Amnesty International focusses their efforts on the human rights abuses dealing with death penalties and abolishing the use of torture as well as advocating for immigrants’ and women’s rights.  They have been around for more than 50 years and have certainly made their presence felt in Boston and with the Law class who went to the centre. Way to go Oxbridgians!

Reflections from a student

My Summary of the 3 Weeks at Oxbridge Academic Programs Boston by Kyle Sung

Today marks the end of the 3rd week here at Oxbridge Academic Programs in Boston, with 1 final week left in the program. It is quite sad to face the reality that there is only 1 more week left in the program because it has been such a fun, delightful and meaningful 3 weeks of my life.

I came to Oxbridge Academic Programs in Boston with an interest to discover more about Computer Science. During these three weeks of the program, not only did I learn important principles in Computer Science, but I also found a passion in using the power of the computer to address the imperfections and inconveniences of people’s lives.

One example of something that has sparked my passion during my time here so far was meeting Sam Aubin, a fellow student here at Oxbridge in Boston. Sam is a 16 year old developer from Australia, who is responsible for the creation of the iOS app, Sharkmate. Sharkmate is an app that analyzes various beaches in Australia for dangers of sharks, since sharks are a common predator and threat to the people in Australia. Sam told me that this app was in response to a horrible event in which his close friend in Australia was attacked by a shark. The fact that Sam is only 16 years old and was able to create a complex application that can potentially help all of Australia to be more aware of sharks in nearby beaches inspired me to continue my studies in Computer Science in order to build world-changing applications to make better futures for others. I am so thankful that I got to meet people like Sam in the Oxbridge Academic Programs that have such interesting and inspiring backgrounds and stories to bring. The connections you can make in the program can potentially help you find what you are passionate about and give you an insight of what your future can look like.

Another aspect of the program that I found fantastic was staying at the Harvard Law dorm. Although it may be terribly humid, inconvenient, loud and uncomfortable, I believe I got a very accurate college life experience in the dorm aspect of it. During my time here so far, I got to see what it’s like to live in college and know what to expect when I actually attend a college. I got locked out of my dorm room 4 times so far during my stay in the dorm which is something I am not proud of but taught me to know the importance of my keys and to unlock my dorm room when I am out of my room for short amounts of time. This experience will make me a more responsible person in college, making this aspect of the program very meaningful and valuable towards my future.

There are many other aspects and experiences that I think were wonderful and enjoyable like getting to make new friends and being surrounded by students that are just as determined as you in learning more about your common interests. But, after sharing these two aspects of my experience here, I think I made my point that Oxbridge Academic Programs has been such a joy to attend, with many lessons learned along the way. I look forward to the future of my life and what I am going to pursue thanks to Oxbridge.

The esteemed Prof. Basker as Oxbridge Boston’s final guest speaker!

Our group here had the ultimate privilege of having the Oxbridge Programme Founder and Professor of Literature at Columbia University,  the esteemed Prof. James Basker, as our final guest speaker in the guest speaker series. Professor Basker engaged in a lively talk with our students about a potpourri of famed publications and texts from various well-renowned authors from the Abolitionist and anti-slavery movement in the United States, such as Fredrick Douglass and Benjamin Franklin. The Professor also shared more excerpts about his lauded book to the students, American Antislavery Writings: Colonial Beginnings to Emancipation, which holds a varied collection of similarly-themed writings highlighting America’s internal struggles in confronting a matter held with so many different viewpoints by the general public. The Professor decided to end on a hopeful note with his interjection of a quote to our students: “Nothing can be realised that hasn’t first been imagined”- allowing them to ponder on its meaning and revelation.

 

After this informative talk, The Professor allowed the opportunity for the students to ask him questions about his education experiences as an undergraduate in Harvard University, a post-graduate in Cambridge University, and as a doctorate in Oxford University where he graduated as a Rhodes Scholar. Our students had quite a variety of questions and thoughts in which they wanted to discuss with the Professor, who kindly invited them to dine with him for dinner and pose these points in the discussion that followed. Way to go Oxbridgians!

Field trip to Harvard Museum Natural Science

The Emergent Pathogens students went with their professor, Annie Zhang, to the Harvard Museum of Natural History to visit the museum’s exhibit on microbial life. This museum has one of the best collection of fossils, and botanic and taxidermy specimens in the East Coast, and the students were able to enjoy these exhibits in addition to the microbial exhibit.

The students visited first the botanical hall, where they saw the glass models of various flowers and plants. Then, they continued to the microbial exhibit, in which they read about bacteria, viruses and micelle, or molds and fungi, and Professor Zhang talked to them about the new fields in the study of microbial interaction within the human body. There were several 3D representations of bacteria and virus that served to appreciate their structure. They also discussed the new strains of viruses that eat bacteria and can be an alternative to antibiotics. Below, on the left side is a model for a bacteria, and on the right a model for a bacteria-eating virus.

The Harvard Museum of Natural History also contains an impressive collection of prehistoric fossils. The students and the teacher were pleasantly surprised to run into and unexpected one as they explored the museum.

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It was a Kronosaurus! a marine reptile from the Mesozoic. The fossil took almost the length of the hall and did not fit in the camera shot.

It is impossible to talk about microbes without discussing bugs, and their exhibit was also a popular stop in the visit. The insect and arachnid collection was very colorful and appealing.

The students had a wonderful afternoon at the museum, exploring its different exhibits and using the microbial hall to broaden their perspective on pathogens and the possible ways to combat them.

Today in Medicine Major

The Medicine major class today turned their Law School room into a laboratory! Each student was set up with a working lab station and lab coat! The experiment was on mice spleen and aimed to identify the immune profile in the mouse spleen from transgenic mice. They used immunophenotyping to identify which mice are T or B-cell deficient. They had to keep the cells cold with ice and use their equipment like professional scientists! The interactive experiment applied their learning of immune cells in the class to the real world.