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BHS Helpdesk Senior Constructs BEF Funded “Augmented Reality Sandbox” June 23, 2017

Posted by MrMusselman in Burlington Community, Science Center, Student Work.
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After two years of planning, designing, and construction successes and setbacks the BEF-sponsored “Augmented Reality Sandbox” has become a physical reality! Several students from the BHS Helpdesk have put their efforts towards this project, a tool designed to engage and support student learning around earth systems, watersheds, topography, and geologic hazards just to name a few. It has been the work of graduating senior, Eddie Reiss that has brought the project from pen and paper to fruition. During his time in the fall as a HelpDesk member Eddie “speced out” the necessary hardware, investigated different style projectors and sandbox sizes before ultimately falling on the design featured above. In the closing weeks of his tenure at BHS he took on the construction of the project as an individualized learning “internship”. The completion of this project means that with some minor additional work to be completed over the summer hitching the computer to the base of the portable sandbox and running cables up one of the posts, the sandbox will be ready for classrooms in the 2017-2018 academic year! The sandbox will also be featured at the 2017 MassCUE annual conference in the fall.

The Burlington Science Center would like to thank LeRoy Wong for overseeing Eddie’s work over the school year and most importantly the Burlington Education Foundation, or “BEF” for their support of this grant and several other grants over the years that have allowed us to continue to bring innovative tools and curriculum to our K-12 students. To learn how you can volunteer or financially support the BEF visit their website: www.burlingtonedfoundation.org

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Tidepool Create-a-Creature Activity June 21, 2017

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The Science Center takes all first grade to Marblehead Neck for a parts and function field investigation of tide pool animals.  When the students return, they brainstorm about the animal, their parts and their functions.  They then imagine, design and create a new tide pool creature.  They test their creature in a mock tide pool bin to see if their animal survives the motion of the waves.  Check out the video of some first graders from Fox Hill sharing their “create-a-creature” and putting their creations to the test!

Protect that Popsicle! Sun Shade Engineering June 14, 2017

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On the hottest day yet this year our Francis Wyman Kindergarteners were furiously planning, collaborating, and building their sun shelters to protect Mr. Musselman’s popsicles! As the year winds down all of the Kindergarten classes will be partaking in this challenge… just as long as the sun stays out! Thanks to Mrs. Duncan for sharing these photos of her classroom’s constructions!

Interweaving Pollinator Art into our Life Science Curriculum June 14, 2017

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Beautiful flower artwork on display in the Memorial Elementary hallways.

This year Burlington took a big step toward aligning with the new K-12 Massachusetts Science, Technology, and Engineering Standards by introducing plant and animal structure and function units to the first and fourth grades. The process of pollination, and how the structures of plants and animals work together to help one another survive has been the focus at the fourth grade level, with students examining internal and external parts of the organisms to grasp their function. Along the way, the BPS Art Department was inspired to bring this exploration into their own work, and coordinated closely with Miss Pavlicek to interweave their own art standards and aspirations with the science curriculum.

Two teachers in particular have stood out that we would like to recognize. Art teacher, Donna York at the Memorial School became so inspired by the new curriculum that she dedicated a large portion of her year to the pollinator theme, having students from all grades construct artwork that captures pollinator shape, color, and function. When the work was published this spring through the Memorial hallways the work was absolutely breath-taking!

Art Teacher, Courtney Fallon took students in a different, but equally wonderful direction by piloting a pollinator performance unit to be shared with her fellow elementary art teachers in hopes they might produce something similar in their own schools. Students incorporated costume art, models created on “pollen” to demonstrate new learning, and an interpretive dance that got different pollinators mixing it up to share learning around their given pollinator type.

We are so impressed at the wonderful work these teachers have produced with their students! Special thanks again to Donna York and Courtney Fallon as well as Art Department Team Leader, George Rakevitch for their dedication and vision to make these imaginative projects a reality for their students.

Engineering Earthquake Resistant Structures June 8, 2017

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Mrs. Weinberg’s 4th graders got a sneak-peak at next year’s earthquake curriculum as pilots for a future “Quake Shake Engineering” challenge put together by Mr. Musselman. Students learned about the kinds of seismic waves earthquakes form before learning about the substructures commonly put into place by construction companies to reduce the impact of an earthquake on a building or piece of city infrastructure.

Students planned, constructed, tested, and compared results with fellow classmates to determine which structures held up to the seismic tests (performed by student power and the help of a metronome). At the conclusion of the challenge 3 of the 5 structures managed to hold their own to the model earthquake. The “winner” of the bid for construction eeked by their second closest competitor by saving such slightly more on their design’s cost and weight (secondary objectives to the most important goal!)

Mr. Musselman would like to thank Mrs. Weinberg’s class for being such great “guinea pigs” and structural engineers! Hard hats off to you!

Summer Pet Sitting Program May 30, 2017

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Summer Visiting Animal Program

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

–Gerbils (easy-low care)

–Gecko (eats live insects-shedding issues to be concerned with)

–African Clawed Frogs (eats hand fed worms)

–Tarantula (eats live crickets)

–Salamanders (must be hand fed crickets with hand or tweezers)

–Possibly cockatiels (needs to be a teflon/non-stick cookware, scented candles, sensitive chemical free house)

Still waiting back to hear from people so there is a wait list for these animals:

Hamster (easy-nocturnal)

Guinea Pig (large cage and lots of supplies-high care animal; one is elderly)

–The Science Center will provide cage, STARTER food, shavings, and care sheet for each

   animal.

–Call Ms. Pavlicek (781)-270-2928 or e-mail pavlicek@bpsk12.org asap if interested.  

–Animals are distributed on a first come, first serve basis.  

–All animals must be picked up by June 14th making an appointment with Ms. Pavlicek. Thank you.

Science Center High School Aides Celebration May 30, 2017

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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.

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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!

Now Enrolling Students for FIRST Lego League Summer Bootcamp! May 11, 2017

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Students from the MSMS Devilbotz team undertaking the same “Animal Allies” challenges boot camp participates will tackle this summer!

Burlington is hosting a FIRST Lego League “bootcamp” this year for students entering grades 4, 5, and 6th grades in the 2017/2018 school year. Participants will engage in a mock version of the 2016 FIRST Lego League competition, “Animal Allies” and work in teams to construct and program LEGO robots that navigate obstacles and complete challenges. Students will also explore how humans and animals currently depend on and impact one another and imagine how robots could play a role in improving this relationship in the future. This summer program is an excellent primer for students who might be interested in participating in FIRST Lego League teams, including the Marshall Simonds Middle School “Devilbotz” in the future.

Tuition for this summer session is $250. Transportation is to be arranged by parents.

To enroll your child, print out, complete, and send this flyer with required information completed to Burlington Public Schools, Attention to Rosemary DeSousa at 123 Cambridge Street by June 1st, 2017. Also include the health and release form linked here and a non-refundable deposit of $25 (the deposit is applied to tuition). The tuition balance is due by June 19th, 2017. This is the second announcement for this program and attendance is already at two-thirds capacity so register as soon as possible! Additional questions can be directed to Mr. Musselman (musselman@bpsk12.org) or Mrs. DeSousa (desousa@bpsk12.org)

Exploring Magnetic Forces with Francis Wyman Kindergarteners May 11, 2017

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Mr. Musselman opens with a “magic”… oops, he meant magnetic ladybug!

Scientific thinking and investigation is a big part of Mr. Musselman’s magnet program for Burlington Kindergarteners. Yesterday it was Francis Wyman’s turn as Mr. Musselman performed three programs to six kindergarten classrooms. During the program students are frequently asked to observe the magnets revealed through the program with their “science observing glasses”, keeping a watchful eye for patterns in the magnets’ properties (such as their poles) and the way in which magnets behaved when close to one another!

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These bar magnets poles are attracted to one another!

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Unbelievable! The magnetic poles of the same kind repel!

Students put on their “prediction hats” to make educated guesses about which materials would attract to the magnets. Many guessed that all the metals would… but to our surprise only some did!

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Prediction hats ON! Which materials in our “pond” will attract to the magnetic fishing pole?

Students also learned the difference between permanent magnets and Mr. Musselman’s incredibly strong but temporary electromagnet! The students were in uproar when four students were unable to out pull the electromagnet in Mr. Musselman’s version of tug-of-war!

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Its an electromagnet tug-of-war! Who will win? The kindergarteners or the electromagnet keeping the rope connected?

A special thanks to Mrs. Duncan for sharing these pictures of her and Mrs. Marsh’s classroom. The Science Center is looking forward to developing an updated “Push and Pull” forces unit for Kindergarteners next year. The magnet program is sure to be an exciting part of this new curriculum.

BHS Teacher, Jill Graham Honored with Outstanding Science Teacher Award May 5, 2017

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The Burlington Science Center is proud to honor and highlight the career achievements of Burlington High School science teacher, Jill Graham with the North Shore Science Supervisor Association’s 2017 Outstanding Science Teacher Award.

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Jill exemplifies the meaning of an outstanding science educator. She has been teaching in Burlington for  14 years. Jill has taught a variety of different science courses such as biology, env science, oceanography, and general science.  She has taught all levels of these courses from basic instruction to AP.  

Jill advises the Students for Environmental Action club at the high school. The goal of her club is to raise environmental awareness at Burlington High School and in the Burlington community. Jill head spears the recycling program at BHS and works with members of the community for recycling. The club also participates in community outreach programs like bikes not bombs and storm drain tagging.

Jill is also the Director and teaches Science at the Burlington Evening Academy Program.  She has been involved in this program for 13 years and has been the Director for the last 5 years.  This program allows an alternative option for students to fulfill their high school requirements and diploma, while working a full time job due to unique family and personal situations.  Her program fosters student success rather than seeing them dropping out of school.

She also coaches the girls varsity swim team. Go team Graham! and has been an advisor for the senior class for many years.

Jill’s passion and dedication to science and her students are evident when you see her teach.  She is always looking for new ways to implement the science standards to real world applications and current events.  Jill is passionate about being kind to our planet, while also encouraging students to be kind to each other.  Her students always show excitement about her classes and coursework.

Jill Graham is a caring, dedicated and quality science teacher and we are fortunate to have her in Burlington!