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Name the Alligator Challenge winner! January 3, 2023

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It is a yearly tradition for second graders to name our educational ambassador alligator. The winner is Tess Ryder from Francis Wyman School. She picked the name “Jewel.” When asked why she chose the name, Tess replied “Because she is beautiful like a jewel.”

Tess had her photograph taken for the front page of the Daily Times newspaper and received a framed award with a goody bag of science prizes. She also had the opportunity to show the alligator to her classmates, allowing each student to touch the animal if they wanted to. Congratulations and thank you to all the students who participated.

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Seasonal Sun Prints: Celebrating the Winter Solstice December 19, 2022

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The Science Center sent a winter solstice experiment to every student K-5 in the Burlington Public Schools.  This year’s experiment is called “Seasonal Sun Prints.”  Seasonal Sun Prints 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. Students are also introduced to an educational video explaining the science behind the winter solstice.

Be sure to watch Ms. Pavlicek and Mr. Musselman’s video introducing the experiment and explore the investigative questions about solar energy. Have a great break and happy new year from the Science Center!

2022 Sunflower Growing Challenge Winners! October 18, 2022

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The winners of our 2022 Sunflower Growing Challenge are….

Tallest Sunflower: Bryce Negron 138’’ (11.5 ft) (Fox Hill School)

Biggest Seed Head: Lauren Agha 16” (Pine Glen School)

Most Unique Sunflower (10 flower heads):  Gianna Mancini (Fox Hill School)

Most beautiful Sunflower: Evelyn Andsersen (Pine Glen School)

Additional Growing Champions!

We are so very proud of our champions and our Honorable Gardeners!

Honorable Gardeners slide show:

Photos will be posted at each Elementary School Lobby for 1 week via our showcase boards

Eagle Scout blazes Trail at Francis Wyman School May 20, 2022

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Burlington student and eagle scout, Henry Morin, finished his eagle scout project this year in collaboration with the Science Center.  His project was blazing 2 nature trails across from Francis Wyman Elementary School. These nature trails can be used for teachers and students to enjoy nature and for use as an outdoor classroom.

We would like to thank Henry, his volunteers and scout leaders for all their hard work and dedication to the Burlington Public Schools community. We are honored to have Scouts come to the Science Center looking for potential Eagle Scout Projects that connect with the Burlington Public Schools and community.  Great job!

2022 Sunflower Growing Challenge May 16, 2022

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Every other year the Science Center holds a growing challenge for Burlington’s K-5 elementary students. This year’s contest is sunflowers! Every classroom K-5 receives a greenhouse growing kit from the center so each student can sprout their own plants to take home.

Here is a link to our Sunflower Growing Challenge Information Sheet and Entry Form.

Sunflower Growing Challenge Rules:

  • 1st place prizes will be awarded for 2 categories: the tallest (from base to top of flower) and largest seed head diameter (side to side).
  • All sunflowers must be grown in the town of Burlington (garden, pots or at the town garden at FW if no garden at home *contact us for details).
  • Participants must currently be in grades K-5 in the Burlington Public Schools (this will include students that will be in grade 6 as of September 2022).
  • We please ask for a picture or two of you and your sunflower! All decisions are final and made by the Burlington Science Center staff.
  • The sunflower cut-off date will be Friday, September 30th 2022. All entries and photos must be turned into the Science Center via email (pavlicek@bpsk12.org) or to their classroom teacher/interschool mail by Friday, October 2, 2022.  Don’t forget to please include a photo of you standing next to your sunflower!
  • Judging will take place around the first few weeks of October 2022.

Earth Day Celebration with the Science Center May 5, 2022

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Earth Day is an important reminder for the younger generation to respect our Earth and all living things. Fox Hill Library Media Specialist, Mr. Murphy, and the Science Center facilitate nature stations, live animals, informational packets and nest cams for students to enjoy to celebrate Earth Day. We loved hearing students stories, questions and seeing their smile interacting with nature and live animals.

Science Center at Girl Scouts STEM event April 25, 2022

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The Science Center was asked to highlight living animals at their recent STEM event. Science Center high school aides Jupiter Barnstein and Eiko Coram volunteered their time to help educate the younger scouts about the animals. We enjoyed seeing everyone and teaching then about wildlife.

2022 Name the Alligator Contest Winner! February 16, 2022

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It is a yearly tradition for second graders to name our educational ambassador alligator. The winner is Cameron Mirabella from Fox Hill School.  He picked the name “Pavligator.”  When asked why he chose the name, Cameron replied “Because he is blonde like Ms. Pavlicek.” And Cameron is correct! This is the blondest/lightest colored allligator we have had here at the Science Center. Cameron had his photograph taken for the front page of the Daily Times newspaper and received a framed award with a goody bag of science prizes.  Congratulations and thank you to all the students who participated.

Ms. Fleischmann holding Pavligator, Cameron Mirabella and Mrs. Pavlicek
“Pavligator” So blonde!

Vacation Give Away! December 21, 2021

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The Science Center gives away a vacation experiment to every student K-5 in Burlington.  This year we present the “Balancing Peace Bird!”  Here is a video, introducing the bird to our students! Have a great break and happy holidays from the Science Center!

Nature walks with Kindergarten December 10, 2021

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Curiosity and wonder are very apparent in younger elementary students. Four our kindergarten unit called “Living Things & Their Environments,” students are introduced to the concept of living vs. non-living things in our world. Through a visual probe, students first share their current understanding if things in our world are living or non-living.  Teachers encourage students to explain the reasoning rule/characteristics and the criteria they used to decide whether the things on the list are living and record student thinking.

Students then participate on a Science Center led nature walk to observe and collect different things in nature.  Students sort the class collected items and are encouraged to talk about the decisions they made and come to a consensus of which pile it belongs to. After the student groups sort, they get back together as a class to share ideas about what makes them something living or nonliving. This unit then continues with students learning about the basic needs of living things (plants & animals) and patterns/systems of our natural world.

Getting students outdoors to observe, ask questions and make connections to the natural world around them is an important part of being a scientist.