Tags: BEF, earth science, programming, technology, video
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Students, Eddie Reis and Jinzhen “Hugo” Hu have been furiously working to bring a Science Center BEF grant vision to reality. As the holidays approach we checked in with these students to see how far they had come with the future Science Center crown jewel, the Augmented Reality Sandbox!
As you can see, the kinks are still being worked out and the entire project is not yet mobile, but we are confident this project will come to full fruition in the coming months as the technical and structural glitches get worked out. Eddie and Hugo also plan to add in the watershed and precipitation features to the software. The AR Sandbox will be on display and available for students to explore during the Hour of Code week scheduled for the week of December 12th.
Girl Scouts Visit the Science Center and Earn Their “Pets” Badge December 8, 2016Posted by bsciencecenter in Uncategorized.
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The Burlington Science Center hosted the girl scouts this week to help earn their “pets” badge. They talked about the responsibility of having a pet, what is involved in caring for a pet and had an opportunity to visit the center’s live animal room. The center loves supporting our scouts.
The Science Center’s animal collection was featured in the weekly newpaper!
After working with the animals in the Burlington High School Science Center, most students walk away with a greater respect for the world in general, according to director Wendy Pavlicek. Founded in 1984, the Science Center began with a small animal center, but has since expanded to house 60 types of animals, Pavlicek said. Pavlicek, who has been at the center since 2000, took over as director about five years ago. According to Pavlicek, she helped grow the center to what it is today.”[The
Tags: animals, MSMS, programming, robotics, technology
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The MSMS Devilbotz have (almost) finished their introductory year to the FIRST Lego League circuit, with one of four teams moving on to the state championships next month. Twenty-seven middle school students participated in the “Animal Allies” challenge put forth by FIRST, (For Inspirtation and Recognition in Science and Technology) and LEGO to provide students the opportunity to “design, program, and construct their own intelligent inventions.”
Guided by Mr. Marino, Mrs. Lynch, and several BHS Devilbotz mentors, the students met twice a week after school (and in some cases more) to prepare for the competition. Participants were required to create and program a robot capable of completing a multitude of challenges on what can best be described as a LEGO obstacle course. Participants also were judged on the technical engineering and efficiency of their robot and its programming, how well they lived up to the core values of the FIRST Lego League program, and the communication of their research on the relationships between animals and humans.
With over 100 “games” played and presentations performed, the teams waited anxiously through the entire results presentation at the conclusion of the regional competition on November 19th. Their patience was rewarded when one of the four teams, “The Savage 6” earned enough points to qualify for the state competition! While only a quarter of the team’s participants are moving on everyone felt satisfied with their results and experience at the conclusion of the competition and are already eager to participate again next year.
The Burlington Science Center would like to thank Mrs. Jane Lynch and Mr. Jourdan Marino again for their service to the team and Mr. John Carroll and Miss Elizabeth Normandin for volunteering their time over the weekend as well to help manage the teams during the competition day. We are excited to continue to grow the robotics program throughout all of the Burlington schools!
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Pine Glen Science Night 2016 October 13, 2016Posted by MrMusselman in Burlington Community.
Tags: Pine Glen
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Last week, Science Center staff and volunteers welcomed students and their families to Science Night inside the Pine Glen gymnasium. The Science Night proved to be the best yet, with several takeaways including oobleck, straw rockets, and “sound sandwiches” as well as guided tours of the StarLab!
Students also explored the spectrum of invisible, “infrared light” with the help of the Science Center’s infrared camera! Many students danced and played, watching their colorful outlines projected on the gymnasium wall while Mr. Musselman presented heat energy experiments to them through the use of ice cubes and students’ own insulating jackets!
As always Miss Pavlicek and her incredible cadre of Science Center volunteers were sharing fascinating nocturnal animals with those willing to get up close in the live animal exhibit! Mrs. Hogan, pre-service teachers from Cambridge College and former Science Center Director, John Papadonis also facilitated several learning stations.
Pine Glen Science Night was proudly sponsored by the Pine Glen PTO and marks the fifth Science Night hosted by the Burlington Science Center. Miss Pavlicek and Mr. Musselman intend bring Science Night to a new school every year with Memorial up next in the four year rotation! Thanks to Linda McNamee and Principal Lyons for sharing their photos with us.
2016 Tomato Growing Contest Winners! October 13, 2016Posted by bsciencecenter in Uncategorized.
The Science Center would like to announce the winners of our 2016 Giant Tomato Contest.
The first Place Winner is Chloe Liljegren from 3rd Grade at Francis Wyman School! Her tomato weighed in at 1 lb. 14.4 oz. Chloe grew her tomato with help from her grandfather, “Papa Charlie.” What a great bonding experience through the generations.
Second Place Winner is Rowan Gilligan from 1st Grade at Pine Glen School! His tomato weighed in at 1 lb. 10.3 oz.
Third Place Winner is Emma Cerasoli from 5th Grade at Francis Wyman School! Her tomato weighed in at 1 lb. 2.6 oz.
The 3 winners received an award plaque and a bunch of science prizes. Congratulations!
Every student who entered the contest received an “Honorable Gardener” certificate and a science goody bag prize. Congratulations to everyone! We are very proud of you all!
Using Models to Investigate Forces & Motion September 27, 2016Posted by MrMusselman in Student Work.
Tags: forces, Francis Wyman, Grade 3, Grade 4, Memorial, modeling, Mr. Musselman, video
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In anticipation of Rocket Day 2016, fourth graders all over Burlington have been exploring forces and their effect on an objects motion. In a new twist on a tried and true “Tug-of-War” lesson, Mr. Musselman introduced PhET models to classrooms at the Francis Wyman and Memorial schools. Using their iPads, students were able to access the free models and explore the cause and effect relationship between the forces being applied by the tug-of-war participants and the effect on the large cart of candy in the middle. Check out these student pictures and videos to see how students constructed their own understanding of forces and motion through this very cool simulation!
Science Center Launches First Round of Curriculum Aligned to Revised MA Science, Technology, and Engineering Standards August 30, 2016Posted by MrMusselman in Science Center.
Tags: curriculum, K-5, Miss Pavlicek, Mr. Musselman
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The beginning of every school year is generally marked with excitement and nervous anticipation. Among the many “to-do’s” teachers meet new students, tweak their curriculum, and develop routines to improve their practice and meet their new students’ needs. This year is no different in Burlington elementary classrooms, particularly as the Science Center rolls out new units (and phases out some older ones) in the first year of a multi-year roll curriculum overhaul designed to align our science curriculum with the Revised Massachusetts Science, Technology, and Engineering Standards.
Numerous teachers have spent hours consulting and collaborating with Miss Pavlicek and Mr. Musselman to “backward design” each unit, pilot investigations and lessons, identify small group reading material and beyond. The results are units designed specifically for Burlington, complete with digital teacher guides, rubrics, and student notebooks importable to student devices and open for community review.
The units are available for anyone to view and use (with a few exceptions to materials with subscriptions purchased solely for Burlington teachers). They can be found by clicking on the tab above on the Burlington Science Center homepage titled, “K-5 Science Curriculum“. As you will see, there are still a number of units to be rolled out. Teachers and administrators can expect this year’s focus to be on receiving and responding to feedback, making necessary changes to the new curriculum to better meet student learning goals, and mindfully developing curriculum for the 2017-2018 rollout.
Aquaponics Lab at Burlington High School August 11, 2016Posted by bsciencecenter in Uncategorized.
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Ms. Pavlicek picked up 10 African Tilapia fish from Salem State College a few months ago to help with the start up of an aquaponics lab at BHS. The goal for this lab is to provide an educational experience for students and to harvest the vegetables and fish for the school cafeteria. The Science Center has been managing the start up of the aquaculture system and assisting with general maintenance over the summer.
Aquaponics is the match of aquaculture (the keeping of fish) and hydroponics (soil-less plant growing). Aquaponics can be done on a large scale or in/outside your average home. The fish produce waste and ammonia. The fish waste is providing a food source (fertilizer) for the plants and then the plants filter the water that returns back into the fish tank. Microbes (bacteria) convert the fish waste to nitrites and then into nitrates. The solid waste is broken down and used for food for the plants.
We started our project with tomatoes, lettuce, beans, peppers and basil. We are still in the beginning/learning stages of the system but have already processed 6 bags of lettuce and a handful of beans! The tomatoes should be ready soon for harvest as well.
Check out BCAT’s news brief below for a close-up view of the aquaponics lab.
This is a collaborative project between Mr. Sullivan (BHS principal), Steve Zarba (system design and building manger), Dr. Conti (superintendent of schools) and the Science Center.