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Mass Wildlife Open House June 10th April 26, 2017

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A wonderful family outdoor event!  Ms. Pavlicek will be at the falconry table with some birds of prey.  Stop by and say hello!


Join us on Saturday, June 10 from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M. at the MassWildlife Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA. (Rain date: June 11)

MassWildlife is hosting an Open House in cooperation with the Town of Westborough’s 300th Anniversary. This event is FREE and perfect for families and wildlife enthusiasts of any age!

  • Free BBQ
  • Archery
  • Kids’ crafts
  • Prizes and giveaways
  • Live animals
  • Equipment and vehicle displays
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Interactive fish and wildlife displays

Name the Hedgehog Contest Winner March 22, 2017

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The Science Center adopted a new African Pygmy Hedgehog for its educational programs in the elementary schools.  We decided to run a town wide 5th grade contest to name the new animal.

And the winner is……………..

Ilex Fowler from Mrs. Jaffe’s class at Fox Hill School.  She chose the name “Rascal.”  Ilex and the hedgehog will be in the Daily Times Newspaper and Ilex also received a certificate and science prize.

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We would like to thank all the students for participating in the contest.  Our hedgehog comes from a wonderful place called Hamor Hollow Hedgehogs in Pelham NH. Please do your research before considering having any pet into your home.

Girl Scout Meeting with Ms. Pavlicek March 7, 2017

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Ms. Pavlicek visited with the Girl Scouts at Pine Glen school to discuss animals and pets. She discussed animal safety, responsibility and discussed many aspects of owning a pet.  Ms. Pavlicek brought a live hawk and discussed bird of prey roles in nature.  Scouts got to touch taxidermy parts such a talons, wings, tails and feathers.

2017 Summer Robotics Program now Enrolling Students March 7, 2017

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The Science Center is teaming up with the Burlington Public Schools Summer Program to host its first ever “FIRST Lego League Competition Bootcamp”. This is a BRAND NEW program unlike our previous summer robotics programs. The program will run from July 10, 2017 – July 20, 2017, (8 five-hour weekday sessions).

Students entering grades 4, 5, and 6 in the 2017/2018 school year are encouraged to join in this challenging, multi-disciplinary program where students will participate 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.

Burlington is offering its students the opportunity to attend a two-week session (Monday through Thursday). Tuition is $250.

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Place: Memorial Elementary School

Transportation: Arranged by parents

To enroll your child, fill out and return the tear-off on this registration form by April 21, 2017 with a non-refundable deposit of $25.00 (the deposit is applied to tuition). Also include the health and release form linked here. The tuition balance is due by June 19, 2017. Space is limited – please register as soon as possible.

Hedgehog Kindergarten Programs March 2, 2017

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Each winter, the Science Center visits 18 kindergarten classes to present about habitats, adaptations and characteristics.  “The Mitten,” a book written by local author, Jan Brett, is a favorite read-a-loud book in Burlington.

Ms. Pavlicek references the story book and has a giant mitten to post illustrations from the book.  She connects their habitats with geography of the world.  The hedgehog is a particular animal character in the book that isn’t native to the northeast US.  Ms. Pavlicek brings the live hedgehog out to visit during the end of the program.  Students and teachers are amazed by this unique creature.

Our hedgehog comes from a wonderful place called Hamor Hollow Hedgehogs in Pelham NH. Please do your research before considering having any pet into your home.

Pine Glen’s Bridge Engineers February 3, 2017

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“Twenty One Elephants and Still Standing” by April Jones Prince

Second graders at Pine Glen have been ‘building’ an understanding of how engineers select materials for specific purposes through their new “bridge engineering challenge.” Before being introduced to the challenge teachers read the core book, “Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing” a picture book documenting how P.T. Barnum seized the attention and awe of New York City by marching  his circus star elephants across the newly constructed Brooklyn Bridge, proving to the masses the bridge was safe and his circus was in fact, “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

Using the pictures in the book and images from other bridges around the world, students discuss what materials bridges are made of and why learning that this “research” will be handy before they get to work building their own model bridges!

We used wood because it was strong and rigid! We used cups to lift the bridge over the gap. #bpschat

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The criteria for a successful bridge is simple: The bridge must be 45cm long and hold the load of 5 circus elephants. All groups use the same type and quantity of materials before engaging in the challenge.

Pine Glen engineers sharing the properties of their bridge! #bpschat

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More successful bridge building in Mrs. B's room! #bpschat

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Along the way, teachers assess student understanding of the thinking engineers need to do before partaking in construction projects like bridges by asking them to share their thinking about which materials they chose to use and why. Students later evaluate whether or not the bridge meets the expected “engineering solution criteria” (Was it long enough? Did it hold the animals?) before documenting their bridges and learning in their Explain Everything digital notebooks.

Successful bridge, documented with Explain Everything! #bpschat

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The Science Center is excited to see students engaging in this kind of learning being built into each and every new science unit across our K-5 schools and classrooms. Keep an eye on this blog for future updates on what new investigations and challenges our students are embarking on!

Beekeeping Presentation at Garden Club January 30, 2017

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Ms. Pavlicek was invited to do a presentation on beekeeping and the environment at the Burlington Garden Club monthly meeting yesterday.  The presentation was titled “Bee-ing Mindful of our Environment.”  She presented information about bee biology, bee social structure, basics of beekeeping, troubles bees are facing in our world, and ways we can help bees and our environment.  This included local wildflower, herbs and tree species to attract pollinators and information about the harmful chemicals we use in our lawns and gardens.

Ms. Pavlicek is a local beekeeper and brought her beekeeping supplies and materials to share with the club.  She also had her own local honey for purchase.  She also informed the club about her new fourth grade science unit on plant & pollinator structure and function.

Snake visits in Kindergarten January 26, 2017

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Mrs. Hoyt’s Kindergarten class is studying living things and what animals need to survive. They invite a variety of animals from the Science Center into their class on a rotating schedule.  Check out the photos from the latest snake visit.  Students get to ask questions, hold/touch the snake and observe a feeding in the classroom.

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.