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Summer Engineering Camp 2013 August 2, 2013

Posted by Sean Musselman in Burlington Community, Science Center.
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Thursday afternoon put an exclamation point on a fantastic first year for the Science Center’s summer engineering camp for Burlington third through fifth graders. From the smiles full of pride as students shared their projects at our “open house” finale to the impressive, thoughtful designs of the students’ self-constructed technology, it was clear the pilot program was a great success. Students were not only leaving the camp proud of their engineering marvels, but capable of speaking confidently about “insulators” and “filters” as they shared their projects with friends and family.

The two week program drew predominantly from three Engineering is Elementary units designed by the Museum of Science: Now You’re Cooking – Designing Solar Ovens, Water Water Everywhere – Designing Water Filters, and Catching the Wind – Designing Windmills. They provided a strong science instruction background on which students learned about everything from the different types of engineering jobs to the careful balancing act engineers play between effectiveness and cost (financially and environmentally!) Along the way students squeezed in time to reflect on their engineering experience, creating short Explain Everything slideshows sharing the challenge they undertook, the planning they carried out, and the results of their labor. Their work was then uploaded to a YouTube channel made especially for the program along with their digital portfolios.

I am so thankful to my co-teachers, Christine Sheppard and Elana Marsh, who jumped into this pilot program feet first and gave many more hours beyond those compensated (as so many teachers do!) In addition the program would not have run as smoothly as it did without the tremendous assistance from Burlington student (past and present) volunteers, Sharleen Varghese, Sarah Fleischmann, Marina Grasso, and Shinji Coram.

I’d also like to thank Norm Lavigne of the Mill Pond Water Treatment facility in Burlington for opening their doors and giving us a fabulous tour of how Burlington filters and distributes its water to their population. Students were in awe of the massive facility that used both conventional chemical and environmentally friendly filter techniques!

Keep a close eye out for information on next year’s engineering summer program sometime after April Vacation in 2014. We look forward to improving on this year’s achievements and creating an even more enriching experience for our Burlington students.



1. Andrea - August 4, 2013

Thanks for a fantastic learning experience for my boys.They had a great time while learning so much!

2. Integrating Engineering into Elementary Science Curriculum | Musselman / Science - May 13, 2015

[…] the local water filtration plant in Burlington as a field trip (something we’ve done with our summer programs in the past!) to using Magic School Bus or the EiE story “Saving Salila’s […]

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