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2016 Name the Alligator Contest Winner! December 23, 2016

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We would like to announce the winner of our “2016 Name the Alligator Contest.”  The winner is Anju Rajakumar from second grade at Fox Hill School.  She picked the name “Athena.”  Anju had her photograph taken for the front page of the Daily Times newspaper and received a goody bag of science prizes.  Congratulations and thank you to all the students who participated.


Seasonal Sunprints Holiday Experiment December 19, 2016

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The Science Center gives a holiday break experiment to every student K-5 in the Burlington Public Schools.  This year’s experiment is called “Seasonal Sunprints.”  Be sure to watch Ms. Pavlicek and Mr. Musselman’s video introducing the experiment and some exciting things you can do with your sunprints!

Seasonal Sunprints are made with photosensitive paper that changes color when exposed to sunlight. It can be used to create artistic patterns or as a tool to investigate the sun’s energy!


Sunprint directions:

  1. Pick FLAT objects you want to print. Lightweight objects can be held in place with plastic wrap.
  2. Place or pin objects on sunprint paper and keep covered until ready to expose to the sun. A dark trash bag works well for this.
  3. When ready, uncover and keep in sunlight until paper turns a very pale blue. (About 2 minutes)
  4. Remove objects and soak sunprint paper in plain water for 1 minute.
  5. Dry flat and think about the questions to the right while you wait.


Here are some questions to explore about your sun sensitive paper:

  • Why do you think a dark trash bag keeps the sunprint paper from changing until you are ready?
  • Would a light color trash bag protect the sunprint paper from changing too?
  • Sunprint paper doesn’t change under light from most light bulbs. How could sunlight be different from lightbulb light?
  • Why do you think plastic wrap can be used to hold lightweight objects in place?
  • What other materials could hold lightweight objects in place without affecting the sunprint?

The Burlington Science Center wishes you a wonderful holiday and new year full of investigations!  

                                Ms. Pavlicek, Mr. Musselman and Mrs. Hogan

We would like to thank videographer and Science Center IA, Charlotte Hogan for filming our video.

Take care of a Science Center animal for vacation… December 12, 2016

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The Science Center is looking for homes for some of its animals over winter vacation.  


  • The Science Center will provide cage, food, shavings, and care sheet for the animal.
  • CALL MS. WENDY PAVLICEK AT (781)-270-2928 if interested.  
  • Animals are distributed on a first come, first serve basis.  
  • All animals must be picked up at the Science Center (BHS) by making an

        appointment with Ms. Pavlicek.      Thank you.

BHS HelpDesk and Science Center partner to build “Augmented Reality Sandbox” December 9, 2016

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Students, Eddie Reis and Jinzhen “Hugo” Hu have been furiously working to bring a Science Center BEF grant vision to reality. As the holidays approach we checked in with these students to see how far they had come with the future Science Center crown jewel, the Augmented Reality Sandbox!

As you can see, the kinks are still being worked out and the entire project is not yet mobile, but we are confident this project will come to full fruition in the coming months as the technical and structural glitches get worked out. Eddie and Hugo also plan to add in the watershed and precipitation features to the software. The AR Sandbox will be on display and available for students to explore during the Hour of Code week scheduled for the week of December 12th.

Girl Scouts Visit the Science Center and Earn Their “Pets” Badge December 8, 2016

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The Burlington Science Center hosted the girl scouts this week to help earn their “pets” badge.  They talked about the responsibility of having a pet, what is involved in caring for a pet and had an opportunity to visit the center’s live animal room.  The center loves supporting our scouts.

Burlington High School Science Center & Animal collection featured in Newspaper November 28, 2016

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The Science Center’s animal collection was featured in the weekly newpaper!

After working with the animals in the Burlington High School Science Center, most students walk away with a greater respect for the world in general, according to director Wendy Pavlicek. Founded in 1984, the Science Center began with a small animal center, but has since expanded to house 60 types of animals, Pavlicek said. Pavlicek, who has been at the center since 2000, took over as director about five years ago. According to Pavlicek, she helped grow the center to what it is today.”[The

Source: Burlington High School Science Center houses mini-zoo

MSMS Robotics Team Wraps Up First Year, Sends “Savage 6” to State Competition November 23, 2016

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The MSMS Devilbotz have (almost) finished their introductory year to the FIRST Lego League circuit, with one of four teams moving on to the state championships next month. Twenty-seven middle school students participated in the “Animal Allies” challenge put forth by FIRST, (For Inspirtation and Recognition in Science and Technology) and LEGO to provide students the opportunity to “design, program, and construct their own intelligent inventions.”

Guided by Mr. Marino, Mrs. Lynch, and several BHS Devilbotz mentors, the students met twice a week after school (and in some cases more) to prepare for the competition. Participants were required to create and program a robot capable of completing a multitude of challenges on what can best be described as a LEGO obstacle course. Participants also were judged on the technical engineering and efficiency of their robot and its programming, how well they lived up to the core values of the FIRST Lego League program, and the communication of their research on the relationships between animals and humans.

Dueling Devilbotz! #bpschat #firstlegoleague

A video posted by Burlington Science Center (@burlingtonsciencecenter) on

With over 100 “games” played and presentations performed, the teams waited anxiously through the entire results presentation at the conclusion of the regional competition on November 19th. Their patience was rewarded when one of the four teams, “The Savage 6” earned enough points to qualify for the state competition! While only a quarter of the team’s participants are moving on everyone felt satisfied with their results and experience at the conclusion of the competition and are already eager to participate again next year.

Shark attack!

A video posted by Burlington Science Center (@burlingtonsciencecenter) on

The Burlington Science Center would like to thank Mrs. Jane Lynch and Mr. Jourdan Marino again for their service to the team and Mr. John Carroll and Miss Elizabeth Normandin for volunteering their time over the weekend as well to help manage the teams during the competition day. We are excited to continue to grow the robotics program throughout all of the Burlington schools!

Pig practice! #bpschat #firstlegoleague

A video posted by Burlington Science Center (@burlingtonsciencecenter) on

Burlington Barnes & Noble to Host Mini-Maker Faire Supporting MSMS Robotics October 27, 2016

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Pine Glen Science Night 2016 October 13, 2016

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Edison takes in the Science Night crowd from his perch on Miss P.

Last week, Science Center staff and volunteers welcomed students and their families to Science Night inside the Pine Glen gymnasium. The Science Night proved to be the best yet, with several takeaways including oobleck, straw rockets, and “sound sandwiches” as well as guided tours of the StarLab!

Students also explored the spectrum of invisible, “infrared light” with the help of the Science Center’s infrared camera! Many students danced and played, watching their colorful outlines projected on the gymnasium wall while Mr. Musselman presented heat energy experiments to them through the use of ice cubes and students’ own insulating jackets!

As always Miss Pavlicek and her incredible cadre of Science Center volunteers were sharing fascinating nocturnal animals with those willing to get up close in the live animal exhibit! Mrs. Hogan, pre-service teachers from Cambridge College and former Science Center Director, John Papadonis also facilitated several learning stations.

Pine Glen Science Night was proudly sponsored by the Pine Glen PTO and marks the fifth Science Night hosted by the Burlington Science Center. Miss Pavlicek and Mr. Musselman intend bring Science Night to a new school every year with Memorial up next in the four year rotation! Thanks to Linda McNamee and Principal Lyons for sharing their photos with us.


See you next year, Memorial!

2016 Tomato Growing Contest Winners! October 13, 2016

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The Science Center would like to announce the winners of our 2016 Giant Tomato Contest.

The first Place Winner is Chloe Liljegren from 3rd Grade at Francis Wyman School!  Her tomato weighed in at 1 lb. 14.4 oz.  Chloe grew her tomato with help from her grandfather, “Papa Charlie.”  What a great bonding experience through the generations.

Second Place Winner is Rowan Gilligan from 1st Grade at Pine Glen School!  His tomato weighed in at 1 lb. 10.3 oz.

Third Place Winner is Emma Cerasoli from 5th Grade at Francis Wyman School!  Her tomato weighed in at 1 lb. 2.6 oz.

The 3 winners received an award plaque and a bunch of science prizes. Congratulations!

Every student who entered the contest received an “Honorable Gardener” certificate and a science goody bag prize.  Congratulations to everyone!  We are very proud of you all!