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Now Enrolling Students for FIRST Lego League Summer Bootcamp! May 11, 2017

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Students from the MSMS Devilbotz team undertaking the same “Animal Allies” challenges boot camp participates will tackle this summer!

Burlington is hosting a FIRST Lego League “bootcamp” this year for students entering grades 4, 5, and 6th grades in the 2017/2018 school year. Participants will engage in a mock version of the 2016 FIRST Lego League competition, “Animal Allies” and work in teams to construct and program LEGO robots that navigate obstacles and complete challenges. Students will also explore how humans and animals currently depend on and impact one another and imagine how robots could play a role in improving this relationship in the future. This summer program is an excellent primer for students who might be interested in participating in FIRST Lego League teams, including the Marshall Simonds Middle School “Devilbotz” in the future.

Tuition for this summer session is $250. Transportation is to be arranged by parents.

To enroll your child, print out, complete, and send this flyer with required information completed to Burlington Public Schools, Attention to Rosemary DeSousa at 123 Cambridge Street by June 1st, 2017. Also include the health and release form linked here and a non-refundable deposit of $25 (the deposit is applied to tuition). The tuition balance is due by June 19th, 2017. This is the second announcement for this program and attendance is already at two-thirds capacity so register as soon as possible! Additional questions can be directed to Mr. Musselman (musselman@bpsk12.org) or Mrs. DeSousa (desousa@bpsk12.org)

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Francis Wyman Science Night 2015 October 25, 2015

Posted by MrMusselman in Burlington Community, Science Center.
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Taking a look at the moon and its craters through our reflective telescope! #sciencenight

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With a first quarter moon peeking out through the scattered clouds, Science Center staff and volunteers welcomed students and their families to Science Night inside the Francis Wyman 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 and our moon’s surface with the Science Center’s large reflection telescope!

We think the mystery matter is a liquid! #sciencenight

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Playing a sound sandwich tune! #sciencenight

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Students also explored the spectrum of invisible, “infrared light” with the help of the Science Center’s new infrared camera! Many students danced and played, watching their colorful outlines projected on the gymnasium wall while Cambridge College graduate students presented heat energy experiments to them through the use of ice cubes and students’ own insulating jackets!

Explaining infrared light to a first grader… #sciencenight

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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! BHSRobotix team members were also on hand to share the features of the Lego Mindstorms kits available on loan to Burlington students during the fall and winter through the Science Center.

Miss P sharing her new bard owl, Scout! #sciencenight

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Our science center volunteers are the best when it comes to sharing their knowledge of animals! #sciencenight

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Francis Wyman’s Science Night was proudly sponsored by the Francis Wyman PTO and marks the fourth Science Night hosted by the Burlington Science Center. All four Burlington elementary schools have now hosted a Science Night to rave reviews. Miss Pavlicek and Mr. Musselman intend to start the cycle again and return to Pine Glen next year!

Close encounters with this flying object! #sciencenight

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Burlington Lego Robotics Club Fall 2014 Update September 19, 2014

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Students from this past summer's robotics program.

Over the summer, the Burlington Science Center was pleased to hear its calls for investment had been heard by city administration, and resources for the kits and tools needed for middle school and elementary school level “robotics clubs” would be made available. The news was met with great delight, but also uncertainty as only the Burlington High School has a formal robotics club engaged in competitions. With the school year now a few weeks underway, plans have emerged and new initiatives are underway that will expose a younger generation of Burlington students to the world of robotics previously unseen.

For starters, a Robotics Club is already underway at MSMS. The club is being run by science teacher, Jourdan Marino and plans to host its first of ten weekly meetings after school next Tuesday. Student volunteers from the “BHS Robotix” team are participating as mentors and there is potential for parents to also be involved in supervision and participation. See below for details.

Given the nature of the FIRST Lego League competition, registration costs, and regulations, teams will not be registered this fall at the elementary or middle school level. There are, however, conversations ongoing with elementary teachers and administrators regarding running after school robotics clubs at each of our K-5 schools sometime during the academic year. These clubs would be run in similar fashion to those previously run at Francis Wyman. You can review this blog post from a previous year for a better idea of what these clubs look like. It is likely most of these programs will run in the spring when the high school robotics volunteers are done with their own competition season and can be regular mentors within these clubs to the students involved.

Boys with robots from summer programIdeally, all of these clubs (MSMS included) may be nurtured into FIRST Lego League teams prepared to participate in the fall of 2015. Along with these after school clubs, we hope to provide a summer offering to kids that mirrors FIRST Lego League challenges in July 2015 and provide info sessions / workshops for parents interested in volunteering to run these programs in the fall. Parent / community participation is key to the FIRST Lego League effort as these teams tend to meet at a minimum of once a week for a few hours or twice a week for 90 minutes or so to achieve their goals. Again, we will not be reaching for this until next fall, but hope to put down some foundational work in the spring and summer so that we may pique student interest and give all involved a better sense of what such a club and competition involves.

For more about FLL please visit their website where they have lots of information for prospective coaches and participants.

If you have additional questions or are interested in volunteering with one or more of these robotics clubs, do not hesitate to contact Sean Musselman at the Science Center by email or by phone. Our office number is 781-270-1835.

Burlington Knights of Columbus Donates 3D Printer to Burlington Science Center September 16, 2014

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On Monday evening of September 15th, the Burlington Knights of Columbus voted and agreed to donate over $4000 to the Burlington Science Center for the purchase of a new 3D Printer and accompanying hardware and software. The generous donation is a boost to the school system that has already had some success using 3D printers at both BHS and the Marshall Simonds Middle School.

The funds will go to the purchase of a Makerbot Replicator and a Microsoft Surface PRO computer equipped with the necessary 3D printing software required to use the printer. The printer will be installed at the Marshall Simonds Middle School under the helm of science teacher, Jourdan Marino, whose work with students last year to create a 3D printed arm for a Medford child born without one brought local attention to Burlington and caught the eye of Knights of Columbus members within the local organization.

Makerbot Replicator

The Science Center would like to personally thank Knights of Columbus members Charles McLean and Arthur MacDonald for their personal involvement in procuring the funds and interest in the work being done at the Burlington schools using 3D printers. The Science Center will share more information on 3D printing developments at MSMS and BHS along with many other engineering and technology initiatives across the district.

Summer Engineering Camp 2013 August 2, 2013

Posted by MrMusselman 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.

Jane Lynch Honored at NSSSA Banquet May 15, 2013

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On Monday, May 5th, third grade teacher, Jane Lynch of the Pine Glen School was honored by the North Shore Science Supervisors Association (NSSSA) with the “Exemplary Science Teaching Award”  during its end of year banquet at the Danversport Yacht Club.  The Burlington Science Center is a member of the NSSSA and nominated Mrs. Lynch for her outstanding hard work and attention to the sciences as a classroom teacher. We are so proud of Mrs. Lynch!  The Science Center appreciates her passion for teaching and her dedication to the students of Burlington Public Schools! It is our goal to nominate and honor more of the amazing teachers from all the Burlington schools in future years.

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Congratulations Jane!

Brownies receive their bug badge! April 30, 2013

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The Science Center often shares their love of science with the Scouts of America.  Ms. Pavlicek was recently asked to help out Brownie Troop #85006 at the Francis Wyman School.  The troop consisted of 12 second graders, who were interested in receiving their  next badge on bugs!

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Ms. Pavlicek went over the basic characteristics of insects, introduced different types of insects, and how these animals can be beneficial and/or harmful to the environment.  Ms. Pavlicek feels passionate about making students comfortable with all types of animal life, including bugs!

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She also brought 3 kinds of insects for the students to explore and handle.  Crickets, mealworms/beetles and cockroaches!

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Students also learned how some insects go through complete metamorphosis (change) and how others simply molt and grow (incomplete metamorphosis).

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It was a fun filled afternoon for all!

Pine Glen Science Night October 26, 2012

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The Pine Glen PTO and Burlington Science Center teamed up last night to host an incredible evening of fun and learning. Their first ever “Science Night” was a huge success, as over 200 students and family members came out to explore, engage and socialize as a community.

Community members line up to see the inside of the StarLab

The gymnasium was abuzz with science!

Their were five different activities going on simultaneously over the hour long event, all of which were operated by Science Center student aides and Burlington faculty members past and present. Telescopes were setup outside, fixed towards the waxing gibbous moon as it moved across the partly cloudy sky. Indoors, the Science Center’s StarLab was running short tours of the sky’s constellations while students constructed “straw rockets” and created constellations of their very own. All the while, Miss Pavlicek and students gave presentations and answered questions on a variety of nocturnal animals, including a particularly popular screech owl!

Miss P shares the corn snake with students.

Constellation creators!

Families sit down to build “straw rockets.”

 

 

All in all the event was a tremendous hit and the Science Center looks forward to hosting future Science Nights at the other elementary schools in Burlington!

Just a few of our volunteers. We are so lucky to have them!

Massachusetts Outdoor Expo September 13, 2011

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Come visit Ms. Pavlicek and Mrs. Welch at the Massachusetts Falconry and Hawk Trust Table during the MA Outdoor Expo.  See live birds of prey and learn about the ancient sport of falconry.
Information about this event can be found at:
http://fawnsexpo.com
More information about this event is posted below from Mass Wildlife.
GET THE FAMILY OUTDOORS AT THE MASS OUTDOOR EXPO 9/25! —Families, friends, Scouts (Boys and Girls), and other youth groups are invited to a free day of trying outdoor skills and demonstrations on September 25, 2011, at the 15th annual Massachusetts Outdoor Expo (The Big MOE), held at the Hamilton Rod and Gun Club grounds in Sturbridge, 9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. The Big MOE, sponsored by the Facts About Wildlife and Nature Society (FAWNS), is a free, family-oriented event celebrating outdoor skills, nature, art, and wildlife. This all-day family event is free, thanks to co-sponsors like the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, Hamilton Rod and Gun Club, The Weatherby Foundation, Whitetails Unlimited and the Worcester County League of Sportsmen’s Clubs. Sportsmen’s clubs; locally-based, outdoor-related businesses; and other conservation groups sponsor a variety of skills stations, craft tables, and other exhibits relating to wildlife and the outdoors. The Big MOE is the perfect opportunity to introduce young and old to outdoor skills and activities such as fishing, kayaking, shooting, building a bird box, geocaching, mountain biking, tree identification, nature arts and crafts, New England Pioneer encampment, tomahawk throwing, and more! See live birds of prey, native reptiles, and tree stand safety demonstrations. 
Click here to learn more about the Massachusetts Falconry and Hawk Trust.