Pine Glen’s Bridge Engineers February 3, 2017Posted by MrMusselman in Student Work.
Tags: engineering, Grade 2, matter, Pine Glen
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Second graders at Pine Glen have been ‘building’ an understanding of how engineers select materials for specific purposes through their new “bridge engineering challenge.” Before being introduced to the challenge teachers read the core book, “Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing” a picture book documenting how P.T. Barnum seized the attention and awe of New York City by marching his circus star elephants across the newly constructed Brooklyn Bridge, proving to the masses the bridge was safe and his circus was in fact, “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
Using the pictures in the book and images from other bridges around the world, students discuss what materials bridges are made of and why learning that this “research” will be handy before they get to work building their own model bridges!
The criteria for a successful bridge is simple: The bridge must be 45cm long and hold the load of 5 circus elephants. All groups use the same type and quantity of materials before engaging in the challenge.
Along the way, teachers assess student understanding of the thinking engineers need to do before partaking in construction projects like bridges by asking them to share their thinking about which materials they chose to use and why. Students later evaluate whether or not the bridge meets the expected “engineering solution criteria” (Was it long enough? Did it hold the animals?) before documenting their bridges and learning in their Explain Everything digital notebooks.
The Science Center is excited to see students engaging in this kind of learning being built into each and every new science unit across our K-5 schools and classrooms. Keep an eye on this blog for future updates on what new investigations and challenges our students are embarking on!
Wood Frog Eggs and Life Cycles! April 16, 2014Posted by bsciencecenter in Science.
Tags: Grade 2, life cycles, Miss Pavlicek, Pine Glen
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Every spring as the temperatures rise and the local water resources thaw, local wildlife starts to emerge and prepare for reproduction. Amphibians travel to areas of the forect floor that have filled with water from melting snow. These pools of water are called vernal pools. Vernal pools provide a great food source and a safe place to lay their eggs. They are a wonderful habitat for viewing unique wildife. Every year Ms. Pavlicek travels to local vernal pools in search of amphibian eggs to share with her elementary classrooms. They are used for a variety of science curriculum connections including life cycles, characteristics of living things, adaptations and amphibian units. Each interested classroom receives 10 eggs, food and an information packet. The classrooms will raise their tadpoles and release them back into the vernal pool shortly after.
Be sure to check out the Science Center’s video on this egg collecting excursion here.
Mrs. Anderson’s second grade class working on their observation amphibian journals.
Investigating Craters April 15, 2014Posted by MrMusselman in Science Center.
Tags: astronomy, Fox Hill, Grade 2, investigation, measurement, moon, video
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For thousands of years humans have looked to the sky and told tales of the moon. Invoked by patterns on the moon’s surface, the stories of the man on the moon and the rabbit of immortality hold special places in different cultures across the earth. But as second graders at Fox Hill have been learning, the images of these creatures have been made over billions of years by the moon’s exposure to asteroids and the craters they leave behind.
Mrs. Sheppard and Mrs. Lewis’ class recently investigated how craters are made. Why do craters take the shape that they do and what causes a crater to be wide or narrow or shallow or deep. Mr. Musselman recently joined them in their investigation, bringing model moon surfaces (baking soda) and a variety of crater makers (batters, balls, markers, and just about anything else from the storage cabinet) to explore how different craters are made and how to measure each crater using centimeters from the metric system and rounding to the nearest half.
Students were delighted to form their own craters and tested objects over and over to ensure similar results were made after dropping the same “asteroid” over and over again. The rounding to the nearest half and recording of mixed numbers proved a challenge to second graders, even before recording their results, but as patterns developed in the data collected on their data tables, students began to understand how different craters were being generated on the moons surface by a variety of different asteroids of different, shapes, sizes, and masses.
This lesson has been adapted from Peggy Ashbrook’s “Seeing the Moon” lesson from the January 2012 issue of Science and Children magazine. For access to the printable worksheet seen in this activity and produced by Mr. Musselman at the Burlington Science Center click here.
Pine Glen Students Play Meteorologists of the Future January 14, 2014Posted by MrMusselman in Student Work.
Tags: Grade 2, Pine Glen, video, weather
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The second grade students and teachers have been busy this past month learning about weather conditions, severe weather storms, and emergency preparedness for dangerous weather events.
Recently the fruits of their labors were shared with the Burlington Science Center. As second grade teacher, Mrs. Anderson writes, “[The] second grade students worked really hard with Miss Fallon and their classroom teachers to create weather forecasting videos. Mr. Callahan helped put it all together. Check them out below we are extremely proud of their efforts! Check out Mr. Callahan’s blog to learn more about how these green screen videos were made.
We couldn’t be prouder either! We here at the Science Center are always mindful of the tremendous work our classroom teachers put in to make our students’ science experiences go above and beyond! Check out each classrooms videos embedded below:
Mrs. Lane’s class
Mrs. Varrell’s class
Mrs. Anderson’s class
Pumpkin Science! October 4, 2012Posted by bsciencecenter in Uncategorized.
Tags: Grade 2, Mr. Musselman, pumpkins
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Second graders all over Burlington are currently exploring the science of pumpkins, learning about their anatomy, determining whether they sink or float, and then observing a chemical reaction we call “The Oozing Pumpkin!” Students also learn about the science behind fire and how a jack-o-lantern’s candles can burn all night long.