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Energy Units at Full Power! December 6, 2018

Posted by MrMusselman in Uncategorized.
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Across much of our district, students are investigating Energy via our adapted curriculum from the Technical Education Resource Center or “TERC” of Cambridge using their, “Focus on Energy” curriculum. Many teachers are sharing their students great work on Instagram and elsewhere. Check out Mrs. Harlow’s students using electromagnetic “hand-crank generators!”

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We love energy!

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Making some great observations @burlingtonsciencecenter

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FIRST Lego League Junior Update: November/December 2018 November 8, 2018

Posted by MrMusselman in Burlington Community, Science Center.
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During the week of November 26th registration forms for the Winter 2019 FIRST Lego League season will be sent home to grade levels of students for which after school programs will be facilitated by Burlington elementary school teachers. Each school has different grade levels and different dates for which this program will be offered. While we have 18 Burlington teachers volunteer to facilitate the program, not all grades will be covered by our educators! Below you will find data outlining the anticipated days of the week, times, and grades offered for each school. In all cases our FIRST Lego League programs begin the week of January 7th and run through the Expo Day on April 27th. Registration for all programs will be filled on a first-come, first-enrolled basis and cost $100 for up to 14 sessions plus the expo.

 

Fox Hill: Mondays Tuesdays after school, one hour, Grades 1 – 5 (updated 11/27)

Francis Wyman: Thursdays after school, one hour, Grades 1 & 2

Memorial #1:  Mondays Tuesdays after school, one hour, Grades 2 & 3 (updated 11/27)

Memorial #2: Fridays after school, one hour, Grade 5

Pine Glen: Thursdays after school, one hour, Grades K-5. (We are unable to provide coverage between Kindergarten dismissal and start of club. K participants will need to be brought back to school to participate. We regret the inconvenience.)

Those disappointed to see that their child’s grade is not able to be serviced during the winter program have three options to still participate this year:

Parents and guardians may team up with another parent or guardian to facilitate their own team. The Science Center will provide the necessary WeDO kit on loan provided both mentors complete a CORI form and arrange a team of at least four Burlington children. The team will still need to pay a registration fee for the Mission Moon materials but will be able to keep these materials at the end of the program.

Wait and see if enrollment expands to other grades at your school. This assumes the maximum number of enrolled students is not met through planned registration. That said, we do not expect to be under-enrolled at any of the schools at this time.

Register for a re-run of this program during the summer, as part of the summer programming regularly provided by the Burlington Public Schools at the Memorial Elementary School. This program will run during one of the two summer sessions to be decided based on staffing later this winter.

As always, community members are welcome to reach out to Mr. Musselman with questions via email or the Science Center phone number at 781-270-1835.

MSMS Lego League Teams featured on BCAT News November 5, 2018

Posted by MrMusselman in Burlington Community, Student Work.
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Thanks to BCAT for doing this great feature on our FIRST Lego League teams at Marshall Simonds Middle School. The teams, led by Mr. Marino, Mrs. Lynch, Mrs. Shea, and Mr. Walsh are administratively supported by Mr. Musselman at the Burlington Science Center. Their regional competition is scheduled for Saturday, November 17th at Blackstone Valley Regional High School from 8:00-3:00 for those interested in attending!

Sharing Resources and Experiences with “Computerless Coding” at #EarlyEdCon October 15, 2018

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Over the weekend Mr. Musselman shared his experiences and resources with a dozen early childhood educators around developing computational thinking for our youngest learners. His workshop, “Computerless Coding with Young Learners” featured a brief overview around what state and national frameworks say about computational thinking and computer science standards K-12 learning strands before giving educators and opportunity to explore a number of devices the Burlington Public Schools currently have and use at their schools.

PreK and Kindergarten teachers from Burlington to Bourne attended and had the opportunity to explore four different devices, Code and Go Mouse, Cubetto, KIBO, and the junior of them all, the Codepillar!

Teachers appreciated the opportunity to play-test and develop their own understanding of constructing and running “algorithms” using a variety of visual representations each device uses. Many rejoiced when ambitious challenges were completed and everyone felt like they experienced an authentic early childhood learning model, learning by playing!

2018 Pumpkin Contest winners! October 9, 2018

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We would like to announce our winners of the 2018 Pumpkin Growing Contest. And the winners are……
1st place is AJ DiRocco from Memorial School with 116 lbs!!!!
AJ DiRocco 1st place
2nd place is Shayla Kocur from Pine Glen with 87.5 lbs.
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3rd place is Sara Milne from Memorial School with 75 lbs. 
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4th place is Branin Weymouth from Francis Wyman with 68 lbs.
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5th place is Emily Milne from Memorial with 63 lbs.

 

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Congratulations and we are very proud of you all!

All growers who participate in the contest will receive an “honorable gardener”  certificate and goody bag of prizes.  Look for their photos in the lobby of each elementary school this month.

Students learn about the life cycle of plants, gain understanding of how temperature, weather, insects, and other animals affect the growth of the plant and they learn about how pollination needs to occur for the plant to reproduce. 
Gardening connects students physically and mentally to the Earth and nature…it helps them to learn and take part of the process in where their food comes from.

One of the greatest things about these contests is the connection between the younger generations and the older generations. Lots of students grow their plants with their family or grandparents. I hear stories of students walking to their grandparents house every day or the special moments with “Papa Charlie” or “Nana” while tending to their plants. Gardening connects students and humans to the Earth and nature.

FIRST Lego League Junior Update: October 2018 October 2, 2018

Posted by MrMusselman in Burlington Community, Science Center.
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It has been a BUSY start to the school year here at the Science Center gearing up and registering our six MSMS FLL Robotics teams and its 50+ participants. That said, some preliminary groundwork has been put into place for a really big FLL Junior year too!

As coordinator of the program, Mr. Musselman has tentatively scheduled a Community-wide “Mission Moon Expo” at Burlington High School on the morning of Saturday, April 27th. Details have not yet been paved out, but it may be a morning you want to mark on your calendar. Because this event will not be an official FLL Jr sponsored event, we are not planning on sending any teams to a “national” event as the video linked above suggests happens sometimes. We will be making our event public on the chance that if other teams from nearby communities wish to participate, they will be able to do so. At this time we expect this event to be free to all Burlington teams.

Interest from teachers has been strong, with volunteers tentatively agreeing to run after-school programs at all four elementary schools. It is important to note here that the teachers running after school programs will be the ones choosing the dates, times, and age range of kids that will have an opportunity to register first. The FIRST organization recommends teams of four students, with teams of two adults or more managing multiple teams at once. It is reasonable to assume that a pair of teachers might manage a room of 4 or 5 teams made up of 18-20 students.

We want to provide every student and family interested in this program an opportunity to participate, but we also recognize it is possible that demand may exceed the capacity of our faculty at any given school. To accommodate this and the reality that teacher selected dates and times may not match your own, we are aiming to support community members who agree to facilitate a team with a Science Center loaned WeDO 2.0 kit and this year’s FLL Junior program materials. We will aim to provide space at one of the four elementary schools whenever possible or let families participating on such teams to work together to find locations that work for them. Appropriate safety clearances will need to be met by at least two adults coaching the team or teams.

Despite all of these good intentions, it is possible that not every student will manage to find their way on to a team. We hope that community members will recognize the very rapid organization and scaling up of this program will inevitably run into some growing pains. If you want to support the facilitation of this program (regardless of experience!) as either a team coach / assistant coach, or a volunteer at the planned expo, please reach out to Mr. Musselman via email so that he may add you to a growing list of supportive community members. In addition to running this program between the months of January – April it is Mr. Musselman’s hope that a summer program session modeling this experience (with concluding family expo) might be facilitated in July 2019 as well. More to come on that!

We will aim to continue posting updates on the Science Center blog, but have also created an email listserv that will send out regular updates. The listserv will announce publications to the blog as well as requests for resources and announcements regarding opportunities of interest to the growing FLL Junior community. To be a part of this email list moderated by Mr. Musselman visit https://groups.google.com/d/forum/flljr-burlington (no spam we promise!) Those of you who have already expressed interest to be kept up to date will be invited to join this group via email in the near future.

FLL MSMS Devilbotz

Camp Eagle Constructs Harmless Holders September 18, 2018

Posted by MrMusselman in Student Work.
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Camp Eagle students got a bit of the Bournedale experience last week with help from Mrs. Warford and Mr. Musselman. An engineering challenge awaited them Friday morning as students constructed “harmless holders” in an effort to improve on the widely used (with unpleasant natural side effects) plastic ring can carriers.

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Planning our Harmless Holders

Students started by examining the alternative materials available and researched the average decomposition rate of each material in the ocean, generating two-column note charts as they researched before regrouping to share what they learned, documenting their new information on the class white board.

Students then got to work planning their designs, sharing with classmates, and teaming up when design interests intersected. Students got to use some less common tools for classroom construction and Some designs required some revising as students started constructing prototypes, but many creative solutions carried the day!

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Calling all Pumpkins! Entries & Photos September 10, 2018

Posted by bsciencecenter in Uncategorized.
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Did you participate in the Science Center pumpkin growing contest this summer? The pumpkin cut-off “weigh date” will be Friday, September 28th.  All entries must be turned into the Science Center by Friday, October 5, 2018.  Please include a photo of your pumpkin! You can get the entry form and information here. Entries can be emailed to pavlicek@bpsk12.org or dropped off in person from 7:30-3:00.

We will host a group picture with all the pumpkins on the Burlington Town Commons on Wednesday October 3rd at 3:30. Bring your pumpkin!

 

Science Center Newsletter 18-19 September 6, 2018

Posted by bsciencecenter in Uncategorized.
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Welcome back! Hope you have a great school year!

First Lego League Junior Update: September 2018 August 23, 2018

Posted by MrMusselman in Burlington Community, Science Center.
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FLL-junior-sept-2018

Recently it was brought to the attention of Mr. Musselman that interest has been brewing in having after school programs and opportunities for elementary students around the First Lego League Junior program for students in grades K-5. Last year a call to teachers at all of the elementary schools was put out about possible facilitation of such a program in the fall/winter months of this academic calendar and a handful of teachers expressed interest at each school. It is important to note that none of these teachers to date have committed to facilitating any after school program nor they indicated times for when, which grades, and how many students might be able to participate in such an after school club.

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That said, the Science Center is exploring options for how to best facilitate FLL programs across the district in a variety of ways. This includes supporting teams facilitated by parent and community volunteers outside of the school’s hours and/or facilities. Such support might include loaning of Science Center LEGO WeDO Kits to teams constructed of BPS students, registration for events and/or the hosting of our own FLL Junior Expo sometime in the winter months of 2019.

In any and all forms FLL Junior takes, parent involvement and communication is important for putting together and facilitating a successful FLL Junior team. For this reason Mr. Musselman has put together a simple Google Form in which any parents or other community members and stakeholders might express their interest in being involved with the program. This includes everything from having their children involved in the program, to mentoring or co/mentoring a team, to sponsoring a team or expo.

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If you are unsure about whether or not you want or are able to support an FLL Junior team, consider exploring the resources posted on the FLL Junior website. This includes information about this year’s challenge: MISSION MOON, FLL Volunteer Role Descriptions, Session videos which give overviews of how FLL Junior sessions operate and more.

Mr. Musselman is optimistic about getting FLL Junior up and running this year but will not be able to do it without the support of Burlington community members. If you are interested in having your child participate in a FLL Junior program please make it a family affair and share your interest in the form linked above and here. Mr. Musselman will reach out to all those who express interest sometime in mid-September after the immediate back-to-school tide has ebbed.

Thank you to all of you who have already expressed enthusiasm for the FLL Junior program and the many other programs and offerings the Burlington Science Center and teachers have provided over the years. This year’s summer program saw a doubling in enrollment from the previous year, in part due to the introduction of a younger age program, but also due to the enthusiasm of our students and their families for such programs.