Computer Science for ALL in MA Public Schools

Superintendents across Public School Districts in Massachusetts are working together to expand, an in some cases introduce, computer science as a foundational skill for all students.  Our efforts, through our state organization – The Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS) – do not mean we are attempting to limit creativity or forget other content, especially the arts.  What we believe is that contibuting citizens will require a general knowledge of computer science in order to be successful in 2018 and beyond.  We also believe that we are in a 50 state competition to create the skilled workforce needed to fill unfilled jobs and to drive the state’s knowledge-based economy.  

Massachusetts has already adopted Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards for districts to follow.  Even our skilled tradespeople will be working alongside robots needing programming. Local investment in expanding computer science education will only strengthen the Massachusetts Economy, bolster local revenues, and, most importantly, help children have better futures as adults.

Superintendents are not alone in our efforts.  Governor Baker with Secretary Peyser, the business community, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, MA Higher Education, and The MA Computer Attainment Network (MassCAN) are partnering with us.  All together we hope to make Massachusetts Public Schools the leader in computer science education in addition to maintaining our first-in-the-nation ranking on existing academic measures.  

Lego League Bootcamp Full of Success (and Meaningful Failures!)

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Over thirty students from all four Burlington elementary schools participated in the Science Center’s FIRST Lego League Bootcamp session as a part of the Burlington Public Schools summer programming. Students took on the robotics challenges from last year’s FIRST Lego League Challenge, “Animal Allies” using the board, challenges, and LEGO elements used by the MSMS […]

Read the complete post here: Lego League Bootcamp Full of Success (and Meaningful Failures!) — The Burlington Science Center

This Is What Cultural Diversity Looks Like

Great project!

Ms. Rogers' BEAM Blog

diversity flagsgabbie large-1Students in the MSMS photography Activity Block and after-school Photo Club took part in a portraiture lesson that combined creative elements of digital photography and fine art.  Skills included use of lighting, meaningful composition, and body painting.  In a world that passes judgement based on appearances and increasingly divides us by our differences, students took the project one step further by demonstrating their ethnic pride and cultural diversity by embedding flags of origin into their portraits.  Once the composition was designed, and body painted flags included, images were shot and edited using Photoshop software.  Together, the photos make a powerful display statement, located along the corridor en route from the main lobby to the cafeteria.

SamanthaMoreira (2)abbie flag

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Guest Post: Bedford Farms of 3rd Ave Supports the Class of 2017 Post-Graduation Party

Bedford Farms of 3rd Ave, Burlington has created a special edition flavor called “S’mores17”.  All proceeds of this flavor will be donated to the Post-Graduation Party.  This flavor is only available for a limited time, starting on Sunday May 21 through Sunday June 4 (Graduation day and the date of the Post Graduation Party).

The Post Graduation Party is a fun, safe place for the seniors to celebrate on the night of graduation. Each year the Burlington community, businesses and individuals work together to ensure a successful event. Since 1991, the Post-Graduation Party has been organized by parent volunteers and there have been no alcohol related motor vehicle accidents involving BHS students on their graduation day.  The Post-Graduation Party is made possible solely on donations from the community.  Please come and enjoy the special edition flavor – “S’mores17” to support this important event.

Guest Post: To be an Idol, you can’t Idle

State Law Mandates No Idling on School Grounds

Global warming. Air Pollution. Smog. These are topics that make the news every single day. But did you know that limiting something you may do daily could have a major effect on reducing the impact we have on our environment? Idling! Idling occurs any time your car is stopped but the engine is running, and it occurs more often than you may think. Whether stopped at a red light, waiting in the drive through, or sitting waiting to pick up your child from school, we spend a significant amount of time idling.

An idling car uses a significant amount of fuel (anywhere between 1⁄5 and 7/10 of a gallon per hour) depending on the car or truck. With gas prices going up, idling costs you money. Contrary to popular belief, a car does not use more gas to restart the engine than to keep in idle. In fact, idling for more than 10 seconds uses more gas than if the engine was shut off. Another popular belief is that the engine needs to warm up before it can be driven. However, that is not the case with modern engines, and the engine actually warms twice as quickly when being driven. There are many obvious economic and environmental benefits from not idling, but there also many health benefits too, particularly for your children. And guess what? IT’S THE LAW!!

A law you ask? Yes! Massachusetts state law (540 CMR) mandates that vehicles not be idling on school grounds or else risk a penalty of $100 for the first offense, possibly escalating to $500 for subsequent offenses. Those fines may hurt the wallet, but idling hurts the body. Idling cars release the same pollutants that moving cars do, and the stationary nature of idling cars leads to the pollutants building up and possibly entering the school building through the ventilation system. The exhaust of cars is linked to adverse health effects such as asthma, allergies, heart disease, increased risk of cancers, and other lung problems (EMA).

So ask yourself…is the minor inconvenience of turning the engine off and on worth the health, economic, and environmental benefits of reducing idling time? We think so. After all, to be an idol, you can’t idle!!

Written By: Jason Biundo and Azam Baig BHS Class Of 2017 and AP Environmental Science

Students Extraordinaire!

Works Cited

Leibrock, Amy “10 Reasons to Turn Off an Idling Car.” Sustainable America . Web. 08 May 2017.

“Attention Drivers! Turn off Your Idling Engines.” Environmental Defense Fund . Web. 08 May 2017.

“Everything You Need To Know About Idling.” EMA . Web. 08 May 2017.

Lawlib. “540 CMR: Registry of Motor Vehicles.” Court System . 07 May 2014. Web. 08 May 2017.

“The Facts about Idling Your Car.” Boston.gov . 17 July 2016. Web. 08 May 2017.