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Science Center High School Aides Celebration May 22, 2016

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The students of Burlington High School can volunteer their time during a study period to work at the Science Center throughout the school year.  They work with a variety of animals including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, birds, fish and other invertebrates.  Each year we celebrate their hard work and dedication to the Science Center.


Student work in the center includes the handling of live animals, maintenance and care of animal living spaces, diet preparation, assistance with school programs, and the packaging of Science Center classroom materials.

Students often view their experience as a place to connect with animals, gain experience in an area they are considering for college/career and share a common respect with other peers who work with live creatures.  We appreciate all their hard work and dedication.

We also honored our seniors. We wish them well in their future endeavors!

Shadow Show at the Burlington Early Childhood Center April 15, 2016

Posted by MrMusselman in Science Center, Student Work.
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Is Mr. Musselman’s hand really this big???

Mr. Musselman recently brought the Science Center’s shadow theater to the Burlington Early Childhood Center for a morning of exploring how shadows form, how shadows can change in size, and where we can find shadows both indoors and out. Students wrapped up their light and shadow explorations by working together to trace and illustrate one another’s shadows! Check out the fantastic work done by these Cub Cadets and Kinderstars!

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Working together to trace our shadows!

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Taking our time to trace our shadows just right!


Time to add my features!



“Code to the Future” Camp Enrollment Now Open April 15, 2016

Posted by MrMusselman in Burlington Community.
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Please note that the attached flyer below is not affiliated with the Science Center or the Science Center Robotics summer program. For more information on the Science Center program click here. For a PDF flyer with clickable links of the Computer Coding Camp advertised below click here.


Now Enrolling Students in Summer Robotics Program March 31, 2016

Posted by MrMusselman in Burlington Community.
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Summer 2016 marks year three of the Burlington Summer Robotics Program for students enrolling as 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in the 2016/2017 academic year. Last year’s program was a great success! Student were entrenched in the future, programming EV3 model lego robots to do their bidding, learning the fundamentals behind communication and binary code, and probing guest speakers sharing their work as software and hardware engineers with questions. No matter what the interest and experience, there was a little something for everyone!

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This year’s theme will be modeled closely to last years, challenging students to develop prototypes of robot explorers capable of performing a variety of tasks autonomously on planet Mars! That said, students who participated last year are welcome to attend again this year, and there will be some changes to the ‘MEGA CHALLENGES’ offered during the second half of the program.

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This year’s program runs from Monday, July 18th to Thursday, July 28th. Those who are interested in learning more about the program can get all the details from this memorandum sent out recently to students through backpack mail. Questions about the program may be directed to Mr. Musselman.

To enroll, send a check and the ticket at the bottom of the memorandum and this emergency contact form to Burlington Public Schools, Attention: Rosemary Desousa, 123 Cambridge Street Burlington MA 01803 with the full enrollment fee or at $25 non-refundable deposit.

“Our Trash, Our Choices” Resources March 7, 2016

Posted by MrMusselman in Burlington Community, Science Center.
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The Burlington Science Center’s show, “Our Trash, Our Choices” is coming to each of the Burlington elementary schools over the course of the winter. During the show students will get a full look at the amount of trash they produce on a daily basis in their school’s cafeteria. The goal of the show is to get students thinking more critically about their trash and the opportunities missed everyday to reduce the amount of waste we create each day.

The resources posted below can help educators and families extend the conversation into their classrooms and homes.


Meet the Greens, a family working hard to make sure they make the right choices for the environment. Through the family’s animated adventures (each containing a great environmental message) children and adults will learn about recycling, protecting animals, and more. The site includes an interactive blog where your kids can have discussions about the programs.

EEK! Environmental Education for Kids is an online magazine that is for kids. They have articles about the environment and other issues, and great activities for your kids to enjoy online.

Recycling for Kids and Teachers, produced by the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs includes links on recycling and composting, curriculum for teachers, and links just for kids to additional MA based green sites.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ Kids Page shares more ways YOU can eliminate waste and protect your environment! Includes great info and games.


Sid the Science Kid: Recycling!

BrainPOP: Humans and the Environment (subscription needed)

Reading Rainbow: “How Trash is Recycled” with LeVar Burton (YouTube)

ReCommunity: How Recycling Works (vimeo)

Improving Paper Recycling – American Forest and Paper Association (YouTube)

Composting for Kids with Peppa Pig (YouTube/ads)

How to Compost at School – Center for EcoTechnology/ MA EPA (YouTube)

Composting for Kids – Highfields Center for Composting (vimeo)


Common Ground: The Water, Earth, and Air We Share – A simple story of our planet’s natural resources with jewel-like paintings by Caldecott Honor author Molly Bang. Through the example of a shared village green and the growing needs of the townspeople who share it, Molly Bang presents the challenge of handling our planet’s natural resources. Full color picture book.

The EARTH Book – Explore the important, timely subject of environmental protection and conservation in this eco-friendly picture book. Featuring a circular die-cut Earth on the cover, and printed entirely with recycled materials and nontoxic soy inks, this book includes lots of easy, smart ideas on how we can all work together to make the Earth feel good – from planting a tree and using both sides of the paper, to saving energy and reusing old things in new ways.

Thanks to Memorial teacher, Elizabeth Guttenplan for sharing these titles!


Recycle Round Up – Help clean up the park! Your job is to sort the stuff people throw away and put it in the proper bin. Is it recycling, compost or trash? Created by National Geographic.

Recycle This! – Use the “airburst” tool to guide the recyclables into the proper bins before they fall into the trash. Created by NASA Kids.

The Magic Makeover, Superhero Training, trivia and more at the Kids Recycling Zone. Created by the Association of Plastic Recyclers.

The United States EPA list of “green games.”

Program for School Projects:

TerraCycle creates waste recycle programs for previously non-recyclable, or difficult-to-recycle, waste. The collected waste is then converted into new products, ranging from recycled park benches to upcycled backpacks. To get started, participants select a chosen recyclable and form a collection station. Teams earn points by sending away their trash (TerraCycle pays for shipping) which is converted into points, valued as money that can be donated or used for other goods.

“Remarkable Raptors” with Ms. Pavlicek on BCAT TV! March 3, 2016

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Ms. Pavlicek joined Linda McNamee on her BCAT TV show, “Something to Talk About”, to talk about birds of prey.  This show was pre-recorded and will air next Wednesday, March 9th, at 8:00 pm.  The show features 3 live birds of prey and conversations about raptor natural history, state and federal laws and common hazards. Be sure to watch!


Girl Scouts Perform Energy Audit at Francis Wyman February 9, 2016

Posted by MrMusselman in Burlington Community.
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Girl scouts from Troop 88060 performed an energy audit of the Francis Wyman Elementary School on their way to earning their “Investigate Award.” To help them find points of heat (and therefore energy) loss the scouts commandeered the Science Center’s infrared camera and explored their classrooms using its dual visible-infrared camera interface to identify points of energy waste.

The scouts were surprised to see that not only did their exterior walls and windows lose heat, but their electronic devices left idle were using lots of energy too! The experience gave all the scouts appreciation for turning off electronic devices along with the lights at the end of the school day.

The Science Center applauds these scouts on their way toward informing their community about ways to save energy while becoming better energy consumers themselves. We also thank Mrs. Schultz at the Francis Wyman School for volunteering as their fearless parent leader! The use of the IR camera was made possible through the Burlington Education Foundation and benefits all Burlington classrooms and organizations interested in using the tool. Please contact the Science Center to learn more!

Science Center Presents New Science Standards Implementation Plan to MA Education Leaders February 5, 2016

Posted by MrMusselman in Burlington Community, Science Center.
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Miss Pavlicek and Mr. Musselman had the recent honor of presenting at the Cambridge College Science Colloquium.  Following the adoption of new state science, technology, and engineering standards, Miss. P and Mr. Musselman were charged with sharing how the Science Center and several Burlington elementary school faculty members are working together to implement changes to their science classroom instruction.

Miss Pavlicek shared how the Science Center has been facilitating professional development to interested faculty through after school short courses and Science Center / classroom teacher partnerships to makeover current curriculum to better meet the new expectations put forth by the standards. Mr. Musselman shared about how the Science Center has plotted curriculum implementation that rolls out new curriculum over several years, improving over time through elementary teacher feedback and work over the summer with elementary faculty. He also shared some of the many resources the Science Center has drawn from and curriculum collaboration networks both he and Miss Pavlicek have been participating in.

Miss P. and Mr. Musselman’s slides can be seen above. A link from BCATV (who were kind enough to film the event) as soon as it is published.


New Chick Hatching Incubator from BEF! January 27, 2016

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The Science Center runs a chick hatching program for all of our 1st and 4th grade classrooms at the elementary schools every year.  We grow the eggs for the first 18 days at the Science Center in our “master incubator”, before the eggs travel into smaller machines within the classrooms for hatching. The Science Center was awarded a grant from the Burlington Education Foundation to update the 25 year old machine.  We would like to thank the BEF for their support with this project.  The Burlington Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes community support for education excellence in the Burlington Public Schools. The BEF’s Mission is to channel donations from businesses and individuals to provide Burlington educators with an additional source of funding for creative and innovative curriculum enrichment programs.  You can read more about them on their website.


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The purpose of the classroom chick hatching program is to enrich the science curriculum through helping students explore the life cycle and behavior of a chicken, while observing live hatching in the classroom. The students have experiences with live animals and have opportunities to care for the animals for one week after they hatch.




Thanks again to the BEF!

Exploring Earthquake Science with MSMS 6th Graders January 26, 2016

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The Science Center stretch into Marshall Simonds Middle School last week to share the science behind earthquakes with the MSMS 6th graders.

Mr. Carroll was kind enough to take pictures and video during the presentation and share them on the MSMS blog. After the show, Mr. Musselman set up the Burlington Science Center seismograph in the learning commons for all MSMS students to observe and investigate. Mrs. Richardson’s class tried it out today with earth-shaking results! Thanks to Library Media Specialist, John Carroll at the MSMS Learning Commons for sharing and posting these great pictures and videos!



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