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Exploring Circuits with Mrs. Tate’s 6th Graders March 29, 2018

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In anticipation of working with Makey Makey sets later next month, Mrs. Tate invited Mr. Musselman in to explore circuits with her 6th grade small groups.

Open investigation was the play of the day with Mr. Musselman sticking to overarching essential questions, “Where does the energy start, where does it go, and how does energy  transform as it moves through the electrical system?”

More electrical circuit systems in Mrs. Tate‘s class!

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Students troubleshot battery orientation, buzzers that only allowed electrical flow in one direction, and light bulbs of varying resistance and illumination capacity. Successful circuit systems were recorded with their iPads for further reflection.

Exploring circuit systems with Mrs. Tate’s 6th graders. Where does the energy flow? What does it transform into? #NGSS

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Mr. Musselman also left electromagnetic hand-crank generators for further investigation of electricity flow and the concept of alternating currents with Mrs. Tate for future classes. We are excited to see what her students come up with when they bring their computer science skills into the equation and start developing programs that can be controlled through their Makey Makey sets.


Eagle Scout Project by Nick Heisler March 20, 2018

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Burlington student and eagle scout, Nick Heisler, finished his eagle scout project this year in collaboration with the Science Center.  His project was based around the updating and completion of our large bird of prey enclosure out side the Science Center and High School. He designed and built a security enclosure for safe entry and exiting of the enclosure. He also shingled and sealed the roof of the enclosure. Lastly, he added special interior cage lining to protect our Barred owl, Scout, from any injuries.

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We would like to thank Nick, his volunteers and scout leaders for all their hard work and dedication to the Science Center. We are honored to have Scouts come to the Science Center looking for potential Eagle Scout Projects that connect with the Burlington Public Schools and community.  Great job!

Boy Scouts visit the Science Center January 16, 2018

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Burlington Cub Scout Pack 555 visited the Science Center last week.  The center helped the scouts work towards several badges. Topics included composting, plant observations, and endangered vs. extinct animals. The Scouts also learned about the Science Center and how we service the schools and town of Burlington.  The Scouts also received a tour of the center, including the aquaponics lab and live animal center.

Winter Sky Wonderings: Observe Orion! January 8, 2018

Posted by MrMusselman in Burlington Community, Science.
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As we know, the winter nights are long and can be cold, but they also present opportunity to connect with student sky explorations and the patterns of nature!

The January and February sky offers fantastic views of the constellation, Orion – easily identified by his bright, three star belt. Orion chases Taurus the Bull, a V shape constellation that can be seen when scanning up and to the right of Orion. These constellations will be visible in the Southeast sky at nightfall before rising higher in the sky as they slowly march South as night passes. These constellations take a path similar to that of the sun across our sky, a pattern you can connect to with your child by observing the constellation at two different times in the night with a point of reference (such as a tree or street lamp) to indicate that the constellations location in the sky has moved.

Night sky image from: http://www.astronomytrek.com/step-4-interesting-facts-about-orion/

If Orion is still hidden by trees early in January just wait 2-3 weeks. Orion will be even higher and more south in the early evening hours as winter marches on. Orion is a seasonal constellation that can only be seen during one half of the year. During the summer months Orion is high in the sky during the day time!

The use of printable star charts or apps that chart the sky using augmented reality technology can also enhance your sky exploring experience. We hope that you will brave the cold and enjoy what the night sky has to offer with your child!

2017 Name the Alligator Contest Winner January 2, 2018

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We would like to announce the winner of our “2017 Name the Alligator Contest.”  The winner is Madelyn Price from Mrs. Scott’s class at Francis Wyman School.  She picked the name “Elbert.”  Madelyn 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.



Instant Snow Holiday Experiment! December 15, 2017

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Mrs. Pavlicek, Mr. Musselman, and Mrs. Hogan would like to wish you and your family a merry holiday break! We will see you in 2018 with even more great science experiments and activities.

Please enjoy your “Instant Snow” experiment, which was delivered to all elementary level students. Teachers can send each student home with the materials to perform the experiment or complete the activity as a class at school! Please be sure to watch our video in your classroom or at home to investigate your instant snow experiment.

MSMS Devilbotz Rise and Inspire at Lego League Regional Qualifier November 19, 2017

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In just their second year the Devilbotz of Marshall Simonds walked away from their FIRST LEGO League regional tournament with hardware, winning the overall Inspiration Award and Judges Award while advancing one of their four teams to the state qualifier next month.

Coached by MSMS science teachers, Jane Lynch, Jourdan Marino and student mentors from the Burlington High Devilbotz, the team was an formidable presence in the stands overlooking the competition fields and in the “Pit.” Burlington red stood out against other teams from Arlington, Andover, Waltham, Belmont, Scituate, and the hosting City of Newton.


“Los Chum Buckets” anxiously watch their robot leave the base!

Savage Seven multi tasking!

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On the robotics fields, “Los Chum Buckets” and the “Savage Seven” led the team, with their robots performing multiple challenges in one string of code. Elsewhere, Burlington’s all-female, “Diamond Dragons” excelled in the Core Values challenge, where teams work together under tight time constraints to solve an engineering problem. The Diamond Dragons also earned the “Inspiration Award” as well, given to the team demonstrating extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit.

Diamond Dragons and H2O Flow getting it done ✅ @bhsrobotix #omgrobots

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At the end of the tournament, it was team “H2O Flow” that took the top prize for Burlington, earning a trip to the State Qualifier next month and the “Judges Award” for their problem solving perseverance when told they could not use water in their presentation demonstration (but managed excellent scores anyway!)

Throughout the entire competition the teams demonstrated “Gracious Professionalism” toward each other and their fellow competitors. The event ended with a dance party seemingly led by the Devilbotz and Savage Seven’s, “Jackie the Shark.

Finale dance party with Jackie the Shark at the lead. What a great day for MSMS Robotics! #bpschat

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Congratulations to all of our teams as the MSMS Devilbotz continue to rise in the region as outstanding competitors. Mrs. Lynch and Mrs. Marino were enthusiastic about the great gains the team made this year and hopes to see many return next year when a whole new set of challenges and real world problems await to be investigated and overcome.

Block head!

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Mr. Musselman Honored as one of 2017’s Massachusetts Science Educators of the Year November 6, 2017

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During the MAST conference last week, Mr. Musselman was honored as the “2017 Science Teacher of the Year for Middlesex County.” He sat beside fellow educators from across the state being recognized for outstanding accomplishments. He was acknowledged for his role as the facilitator of the K-8 robotics programs, Burlington curriculum development & implementation, his role as a NSTA curator and the creation of his national NSTA online book on weather and climate. Congratulations, Mr. Musselman!

American Gerbil Society Features Science Center Classroom Pet Program October 12, 2017

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The American Gerbil Society featured the Science Center’s gerbil classroom pet program.  Read about it by clicking the link below.


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Creepy Crawly Animal visits October 10, 2017

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October is a popular month for animal visits at the elementary schools. Here are a few pictures from a visit to Mrs. Parnell’s kindergarten class at Pine Glen School. Check out her blog for more pictures.