jump to navigation

Enjoy Holiday Mood Cards from the Burlington Science Center! December 13, 2013

Posted by Sean Musselman in Burlington Community, Science Center.
Tags: , , , , ,
1 comment so far

This week all Burlington K-5 students will be coming home with a special holiday science experiment from the Burlington Science Center. The holiday mood cards may seem magical but the “thermochromic” properties of the liquid crystals they are made from will lead to plenty of science investigations!

Watch this video to hear a brief explanation from Miss Pavlicek and Mr. Musselman about the many ways you can explore heat energy with the mood cards over the holiday break. The Burlington Science Center wishes the entire Burlington community a joyful and safe holiday break. See you in 2014!

How Much Liquid Water in a Foot of Snow? February 10, 2013

Posted by bsciencecenter in Science.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

This past weekend’s blizzard covered New England with several inches of snow and will be remembered as one of the largest (and longest!) storms to coat Burlington in memorable history.

The snow could not have hit at a better time for our elementary schools though, as many of Burlington’s fourth graders are either wrapping up or just starting their science units on weather and climate!

A question often asked by students (and adults) is how much liquid water is there in a foot of snow? When learning about matter, students learn how matter contracts as it gets colder taking up less space, and expands as it gets warmer (taking up more space!)

But water is not like most matter. Thanks to water molecules electronegativity its molecules organize themselves into a special six-sided arrangement that produces a perceived hollow crystal interior. When ice and other forms of solid water are heated up, the arrangement breaks down, the hollow space collapses and the water “melts” into its liquid form. As you can see in the diagram below, liquid water ends up taking up less space than solid water and is therefore more dense than ice!

Water Molecular Arrangement

This phenomena has a profound effect on our Earth! Since ice floats the tops of Earth’s bodies of water freeze over while marine creatures live below. If ice was more dense (like most matter) ice would sink to the bottom, crushing marine creatures below and leaving our seas and rivers relatively lifeless!

Consider trying this experiment with your students or children and see if you get the same results! We are familiar with many different “kinds” of snow (light and fluffy, wet and sticky to name a few!) Do all of these snow types melt into the same amount of water? Does location matter? Allow your students and kids to explore the possibilities and maybe devise their own experiments!

Happy Holiday Experiment: Solar Beads! December 17, 2012

Posted by bsciencecenter in Science, Science Center.
Tags: , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

This week all Burlington K-5 students will be coming home with a special holiday science experiment from the Burlington Science Center. They may just look like a few plain white plastic beads, but bring them outside and students will see the full beauty of these solar beads!

Watch this video to hear a brief explanation from Miss Pavlicek and Mr. Musselman about how solar beads work. Then you’ll be introduced to a science experiment for all students to try out over the holiday break.