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Investigate at Home: Outdoor Scavenger Hunt March 31, 2020

Posted by MrMusselman in Burlington Community, Science Center.
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With distance learning now picking up steam in Burlington and across the country, Ms. Pavlicek and Mr. Musselman are sharing their “outdoor scavenger hunt” here for all to use and or modify to meet their own learning needs and environment. Our scavenger hunt focuses on participants seeking out different, producers, consumers, decomposers, and other environmental features in their surrounding environment (while practicing proper social distancing of course!)

Outdoor scavenger hunts like this allow children of all ages to practice good observation skills and wonder about the world around them. Here are some tips from Ms. P to get you started:

  • Use your senses! (listen, feel, smell, look…but no tasting)
  • Take time to look/feel/smell closely
  • Pay attention to details-focus on properties (size, color, texture, shape, hardness, weight)
  • Roll over a log or rock to observe, but be sure to put it back when you are done
  • Remember! Use caution when touching animals. Be kind to all living things and return them where you found them.

There are two versions of our scavenger hunt to meet a range of student ages and learning needs. The link here brings you to both scavenger hunt worksheets and a facilitation guide for coordinating adults. Happy hunting!

 

Burlington Quarantine Community Science and Engineering Challenges March 16, 2020

Posted by MrMusselman in Burlington Community.
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Miss Pavlicek and Mr. Musselman will be helping your family beat the restlessness of our community quarantine with some science and engineering challenges on Instagram and Facebook over the next few weeks. Keep your eyes peeled on our social media accounts and we hope you will share pictures taken by you or your kids of your family engaging in our challenges and share them in the comment section. Don’t be afraid to post a question too. We will do our best to answer them as we can or link you to helpful resources (on the Facebook page only, Instagram does not allow active links) as you’ll see in the comments below. Well wishes to you all as we keep our Burlington community safe and healthy.

Challenge #1: Observe Venus and Orion in the night sky (posted 3/15)

Challenge #2: The Mystery Volume Challenge (posted 3/16)

Challenge #3 The Magic Coin! (posted 3/17)

Challenge #4: Air Hockey Forces Exploration (posted 3/18)

Challenge #5: Signs of Spring (posted 3/19)

Livestream Chick hatching and Q&A with Ms. Pavlicek (3/20 through 3/31)

Challenge #6: Ball and Ramp Investigation (posted 3/25)

 

“Lego League Junior: Boomtown Build” Elementary Robotics After School Programs Now Enrolling for Winter 2020 Season December 3, 2019

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The Burlington Science Center is pleased to announce the return of the tremendously successful FLL Junior robotics program to our elementary schools. Forms are being distributed for the Winter 2020 FIRST Lego League season  and will be sent home to grade levels of students at all four elementary schools. Each school has different grade levels and different dates for which this program will be offered. While 14 Burlington teachers volunteered 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 run through the Expo Day on May 2nd. Registration for all programs will be filled on a first-come, first-enrolled basis and cost $100 for up to 12 sessions plus the expo.

Fox Hill: Mondays after school, one hour, Grades 1 – 5 (flyer)

Francis Wyman: Mondays after school, one hour, Grades 2 – 3 (flyer)

Memorial:  Mondays after school, one hour, Grades 2 – 5 (flyer2/3)  (flyer4/5)

Pine Glen: Tuesdays after school, one hour, Grades 1 – 5 (flyer)

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 Boomtown Build materials but will be able to keep these materials at the end of the program. The video below breaks down what you would receive and expect to do as a parent team leader volunteer.

 

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 an expanded version of this program during the BPS summer enrichment the weeks of July 6th and 13th. This program will include all the features of our winter program and include additional engineering challenges associated with the theme. The program runs Monday-Thursday for two weeks, 8AM – 1PM. Regretfully, we can not include family members in the summer “expo” but students do share their work with other students across the entire summer program.

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.

Crater Making with Mr. Musselman and the Burlington Public Library August 8, 2019

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The Burlington Public Library has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing all summer long in the children’s room. As a part of the festivities, Mr. Musselman hosted a “crater making” experience on Wednesday, August 7th to the joy of a classroom’s worth of children ages 5-11 and their adult counterparts.

Mr. Musselman started by asking participants to share “what they wondered about the moon” when they gazed at it in the sky before reading “Moon” by Stacy McAnulty. Many of the participants’ questions were answered by this delightfully illustrated children’s book, but many questions about craters remained, leading into Mr. Musselman’s crater investigation!

Participants examined Mr. Musselman’s big portrait of the moon before investigating their answers to their questions about how craters are made and the patterns they leave behind on the moon’s surface. Mr. Musselman used this video produced by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to guide his own moon surface model making before providing participants with a variety of different stand-in asteroids and letting the kids get to work!

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Investigating how different asteroids affect the moons surface!

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As you can see the participants did a great job explaining the patterns they made and explaining everything from why some craters are deeper than others to the kinds of “ejecta patterns” each collision made. All in all it was a huge success! Thanks to the Burlington Public Library for hosting Mr. Musselman and NASA JPL for sharing this activity!

Our Superhero Secretaries! June 20, 2019

Posted by MrMusselman in Burlington Community, Science Center.
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Over the past few years our curriculum rollout as required some serious scheduling gymnastics by Burlington’s elementary school secretaries. Pulling whole teams of grade-level teachers is a hard pull any time, never mind during years when substitute teacher numbers are at an all-time low! Through it all our secretaries have worked their magic with a smile to ensure our teachers have the time and opportunity to prepare themselves for delivering our science curriculum to the best of their ability.

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Thank you Julie Gosselin, Kristin Downie, Kathy Bogosh, Julie Conley, and absentee line manager, Jill Papadonis for all your hard work that has allowed us to do ours!

and to all of our secretaries, teachers, and Burlington community at large have a wonderful summer and see you in September!

“Mission Moon” Accomplished as Junior Engineers Share Designs with Burlington Community May 15, 2019

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Several hundred K-5 students, family, friends and volunteers converged on Burlington High’s cafeteria for the first ever locally hosted “FLL Junior Expo”. Over 100 students from all four elementary schools were represented, standing proudly beside their imaginatively designed lunar bases, sharing what they learned about the challenges and their imagined solutions for living on the moon.

Presenters referenced their “Show Me” posters along the way to share their journey of learning over the twelve-week after school program that culminated with the Saturday morning Expo. A number of the Marshal Simonds Middle School Robotics Team members who supported the after-school programs were also on hand to demonstrate the FIRST Lego League “Into Orbit” challenges undertaken during their fall season. The BHS Devilbotz also shared their technician’s “pit” and demonstrated some of the features on their robot from the “FIRST Robotics Competition” season.

Nearly all of the teachers who ran the after-school programs also participated in the event, supporting the students lunar base setup before the exhibit hall doors opened before participating as award announcers and distributors during the closing ceremonies. Teachers and student volunteers also led the line dance many participants enjoyed as the event finale to celebrate the community they had become. The Burlington Science Center is extremely grateful for all of the teachers and volunteers who came together to make this happen. We are already gearing up for next year’s FLL Junior theme: “Boomtown Build” recently unveiled by the FIRST organization that designs the kits and instructional materials in collaboration with LEGO.

Elbert the Alligator Makes A Snappy Surprise at BEF Trivia Night March 7, 2019

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Burlington Science Center employees and supporters, past and present were on hand at the Burlington Education Foundation’s annual BEF Trivia Night. Participating as team “Reality Bites” Miss Pavlicek and Mr. Musselman brought along Elbert the Alligator to partake in the evening’s festivities. Elbert made his presence felt at all of the team’s competitor tables, including the School Committee’s!

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The BEF regularly supports the Science Center’s endeavour to bring “Science to Life” by seeding our programming great and small, including the Science Center starlab, infrared camera, and chick hatching incubator equipment. Miss P and Mr. Musselman thank the BEF for their continued support and a wonderful night out with the Burlington philanthropic community!

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Elementary Students Shoot for the Moon with new LEGO Robotics Program January 24, 2019

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Students at all four elementary schools have set their sights for the moon with the launch of the FIRST Lego League Junior Mission Moon program. The program is now in its third week and over 140 students are participating in the program, learning about the conditions on the moon and the challenges humans face for sustained survival on its surface.

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Fox Hill’s Mission Moon engineers getting to business building their lunar rovers and resource shelters! #bpschat

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Students have formed collaborative teams of three and four to embark on their adventures and recently completed their first robotics challenge of the program, constructing a lunar rover and a supply storage device or facility where critical materials could be deposited and stored. Students are supported by their teachers and several volunteer mentors from the Marshall Simonds Middle School robotics team.

The program wraps up on April 27th at BHS for the Lego League Junior Expo, where all participants will have an opportunity to share what they learned with family and community members.

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

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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!