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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

Posted by bsciencecenter in Uncategorized.
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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.

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Thanks again to the BEF!

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

Posted by MrMusselman in Science Center.
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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!

 

“Superfish” Explores Aquarium Creatures Parts and Functions with Kindergarteners January 26, 2016

Posted by MrMusselman in Science Center.
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A photo posted by Burlington Science Center (@burlingtonsciencecenter) on Jan 26, 2016 at 7:05am PST

 

Every year before Burlington Kindergarteners venture to the Aquarium, Mr. Musselman visits the school to explore the many different creatures special features in a show known as “Superfish.”

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Students learn that all animals can be broken down into two groups, those that have a backbone and those that do not. These creatures are known as vertebrates and invertebrates.

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Mr. Musselman highlights creatures students will want to stay on the look out for, and asks students to imagine how their different parts help each creature survive. Students share how the mollusks shell provide protection, as do the exoskeletons of the horseshoe crab and lobster. One lucky volunteer gets to observe first-hand how the suction cups of a seastar keep them safely glued to the rocks of our shorelines.

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The “Superfish” comes out toward the end of the show as Mr. Musselman describes the different parts and functions that all fish share. A great white shark jaw fossil makes for great intrigue, but is outdone when students line up at the end of the show to examine an octopus close up (before seeing a live one at the aquarium later in the week.)

“Our Trash, Our Choices” Resources January 19, 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.

Websites:

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.

Videos:

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)

Games:

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.

2015 Name the Alligator Contest Winner! December 21, 2015

Posted by bsciencecenter in Uncategorized.
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We would like to announce the winner of our “2015 Name the Alligator Contest.”  The winner is Bridget Boermeester from second grade at Fox Hill School.  She picked the name “Buster.”  Bridget 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.

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The proud winner!

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Ms. Pavlicek introducing the alligator, along with photographer Joe Brown from the Daily Times

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Students were allowed to touch the alligator and get a closer look.

Teacher Mrs. Stone, Ms. Pavlicek Science Center, Bridget Boermeester, Principal Ellen Johnson

Teacher Mrs. Stone, Ms. Pavlicek Science Center, Bridget Boermeester, Principal Ellen Johnson

 

Holiday Experiment Give Away…The Balancing Peace Bird! December 16, 2015

Posted by bsciencecenter in Uncategorized.
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The Science Center gives a holiday experiment to every student K-5 in Burlington.  This year we present the “Balancing Peace Bird!”  Here is a video we made to introduce it to our students!

Happy holidays from the Burlington Science Center!

Owls visit Marshall Simonds Middle School December 11, 2015

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Read here about the Science Center’s visit to Marshall Simonds Middle School with our two owls.  This program connected with 6th grader’s reading of the novel “Hoot” by Carl Hiassen.  Students learned about bird biology, heard native owl calls and experienced an owl eating a live mouse!

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Science Night Coverage from BCAT TV December 2, 2015

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Check out BCAT TV’s coverage of our Science Night at Francis Wyman School.

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