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Watch us change as we grow…Live Chick Hatching! March 20, 2020

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The Burlington Science Center manages a chick hatching program for all the kindergarten classes at the 4 elementary schools.  The chicks were supposed to hatch next week, Tuesday March 24th through Thursday March 26th. 
Don’t be disappointed students! Most of the eggs were returned to the farmer (for him to hatch out, where he has space to let them grow). I decided to bring a smaller batch of your eggs to my house to hatch. Everyone will now be able to watch the chicks hatch and grow for a few days in their brooder box via live streaming.
I look forward to sharing this amazing experience with you! Be well!
The stream will go live sometime Monday (not much should happen until Tuesday). There will be a Q & A section. The hatch will stream from 7-7 (please note, that may change).
Announcement Video is posted on our facebook and instagram
Here is the link to the live stream:


Link to Ms. Pavlicek’s kindergarten chick hatching teaching videos:
Burlington Science Center’s Chick Hatching Videos
National Science Teaching Association’s “Daily Do” on “What’s inside of an egg?”

Burlington Quarantine Community Science and Engineering Challenges March 16, 2020

Posted by Sean Musselman 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)


2020 Summer Robotics Programs Enrollment Now Open March 12, 2020

Posted by Sean Musselman in Science Center.
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Enrollment for the Summer 2020 Summer Robotics programs are now open! Enrollment numbers reached an all-time high last year across our two programs, “Into Orbit” and “Mission Moon.” Programs are facilitated by Mr. Musselman, Burlington elementary and middle school teachers, as well as middle school age mentors from the MSMS FLL Robotics Team.

This year’s programs are set in the spirit of building cities and infrastructure for the future! Incoming 4th, 5th, and 6th graders will participate in our FIRST LEGO LEAGUE “City Shaper” Bootcamp while incoming 2nd and 3rd graders will participate in an upgraded version of the winter after school program, “Boomtown Build”.

City Shaper Registration Form (future 4th, 5th, and 6th graders)

Boomtown Build Registration Form (future 2nd and 3rd graders)

Both programs will operate during the first week of the summer programs offered (July 6th-16th, Monday through Thursday) at Memorial Elementary. A nominal, but non-refundable deposit must be submitted with your registration form to hold your spot. Open the registration forms above for more information regarding dates, cost, and other registration details. Questions unanswered by the forms may be directed to Mr. Musselman at the Science Center via email (musselman@bpsk12.org) or phone 781-270-1835.

Vacation experiment! The balancing Peace Bird! December 18, 2019

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The Science Center gives away a vacation experiment to every student K-5 in Burlington.  This year we present the “Balancing Peace Bird!”  Here is a video we made to introduce it to our students! Have a great break and happy holidays from the Science Center!


Name the Alligator Contest Winner December 10, 2019

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We would like to announce the winner of our “2019 Name the Alligator Contest.”  The winner is Eli Hanafin from second grade at Memorial School.  He picked the name “Kullake.”  Eli had his photograph taken for the front page of the Daily Times newspaper and received a framed award, with a goody bag of science prizes.  Congratulations and thank you to all the students who participated!


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

Posted by Sean Musselman in Burlington Community.
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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.

Lights, Camera, Science! October 29, 2019

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The Science Center celebrated STEM week by presenting an all school demonstration at the 4 elementary schools on the science of light. We investigated what light is, what are several forms of energy, how light behaves and how humans & animals use light to communicate. This show combined big stage demonstrations with science content. These included a laser, glass beads/prisms, theatre stage lights, UV light, live owl demonstration, secret code, color blind test and luminol chemical reaction. There was even a guest appearance by a gorilla! We hope the students and teachers enjoyed learning about the science of light!

Thanks to Mrs. Hogan for her hard work in helping with the show and to Mr. Middleton for loaning us some stage lights!

New frogs! September 18, 2019

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Molly Smith from Francis Wyman caught two frogs for the Science Center’s animal collection. Great job Molly and thank you!


Welcome back! September 11, 2019

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Welcome back! School is in session and we are looking forward to another exciting year of science education! Check out our yearly newsletter to learn more about our offerings for Burlington Public Schools.


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

Posted by Sean Musselman in Burlington Community, Science.
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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!

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!