Belmont Public Schools
Mary Lee Burbank Elementary School
266 School Street | Belmont, MA 02478
phone: 617 - 993 - 5500
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PTA News -- Feb. 28, 2017

What's Happening This Week

We thank the STEM Week Committee (Sarah Olken, Adam Poulin-Kerstien, Jerome Dubois and Steve Sears) and the many volunteers who made STEM Week and STEM night enjoyable and enriching for all! STEM Night was well-attended in spite of not-great weather, and it was filled with many educational and fascinating activities thanks to the many families who shared their time and enthusiasm.

Tuesday March 7th is Wilson Farm Shopping Day. If you show the attached flyer at the store, Wilson Farm will donate 20% of your purchase to the Belmont Public Schools.

PTA Calendar Note: The PTA will not be holding a meeting in March. The Next PTA Meeting will be Monday, May 15th.

Have a great week!

Jessie and Katherine



When? Friday, March 10, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Where? Burbank Cafeteria
Movie: Moana

Wear your pajamas, bring a blanket or pillow. Get cozy and enjoy the movie!

Siblings are welcome. *Please note--all children must be accompanied by an adult. This is NOT a drop-off event. Snacks and water will be available for purchase, $1 each.

Questions? Please contact Jesse Souweine ( or Kelly Imberman (



Adopt-A-Chromebook and Help Burbank Excel!

The PTA is raising additional funds to give Burbank students greater access to technology resources. The specific goal of this initiative is to raise funds to purchase several sets of Chromebooks (30 per set) and mobile charge carts so that they can be utilized throughout the school. Chromebooks are inexpensive, versatile laptops that connect to the Internet and utilize robust, cloud-based apps.

Dr. Clifford and Burbank teachers approached the PTA after multiple grant requests were declined elsewhere. The money isn’t available in the school budget to make this purchase, but the time is right to move forward now. A group of Burbank families has pledged to adopt one Chromebook every time funds are raised to purchase an additional one, until a complete set is funded. This offer expires today, March 1st! Will you help activate their pledge?

Donate online: visit

Donate by check to “Burbank PTA” with this form.

STEM Week Provides Loads of Enrichment Activities



During STEM Week February 13-17, Burbank Kindergartners participated in a STEM enrichment program about "light." After discussing how we perceive light and some of the properties of light (such as that it has "wave" properties, and that white light is really a combination of light of different colors), the students experimented with light at 4 stations, which included 1) sorting colored beads or decoding hidden messages while wearing red- and blue-filtered glasses, 2) exploring the fact that when we "see" black, it is the absence of light, and using polarization filters to block light waves traveling in different directions, and 3) "taking apart" white light with a prism and combining light of various colors using flashlights and color filters to create new colors (red light plus green light = yellow light). The enrichment activity complemented the "5 senses" unit the kids are already doing in class. During the activities, the students asked questions, discussed what might happen, then tested out their theories with the hands-on activities and recorded their findings on their worksheets!

Grade 1

The First grade activity was delayed due to weather. The STEM week committee is working with them to reschedule.

Mad Science of North Boston will present a science show illustrating the principles of air pressure including a soda bottle being crushed by the atmosphere, a hot air balloon made out of a dry cleaning bag, and a hovercraft. Thank you to the First grade teachers for working this enrichment into their busy schedule, to the STEM Week organizing committee for their help in planning, and to all who have contributed their time or means to the Burbank PTA.


Grade 2

During STEM Week February 13-17, Burbank second graders learned about "green chemistry" - the science of creating products that are better for our environment. After discussing the uses and problems of styrofoam, students got busy making an alternative renewable, biodegradable material with similar properties. Working like real scientists, students cleaned their equipment, combined their materials, and pressed the mixture into a mold. The key ingredient in this technology? Mushroom "roots", or mycelium, in a plant fibre product developed by Ecovative, a green materials company. The mycelium fungus grows throughout the material, binding it into a lightweight foam-like block. Students will observe the change when they return from February vacation, then test the properties of the finished material they made themselves. When they are all done testing, they can even compost it! The lively presentation and engaging experiment was provided by Beyond Benign - Green Chemistry Education and made possible by contributions to the Burbank PTA. Thanks to the PTA STEM Week Committee for coordinating!

Grade 3

Chuck the robot visited the three 3rd grade classes during STEM week. The students learned that robots don't have to look or act like humans to be useful. Chuck helps people in warehouses find things in shelves faster, walk less, and help them carry heavy items around. They learned the definitions of autonomous, mobile, and cloud and were really excited to know that Chuck can work 16 hours without also break. They all asked some very good questions and later that night saw Chuck move around in the gym during STEM night. Thank you Mrs. Flaherty for helping coordinate a time with the 3rd grade teachers.

Grade 4

On Tuesday February 14th of STEM Week, Burbank 4th graders had the opportunity to learn about technology when they learned how to make a stop motion animation story. Students paired up and used laptops and materials provided by Empow Studios to film a story of their own creation. Each pair set the scene using materials like legos or by drawing on a paper. Each time something moves on the screen, it is because the students captured a new image- students were focused and worked hard to finish their story. Thank you to Empow Studios for leading this adventure and for sharing the finished products with teachers. Parents, look in your email for a copy of these projects! Thank you to the 4th grade teachers for working this enrichment into their busy schedule and to the STEM Week organizing committee for their help in planning.

School Store Open on Fridays!

Help the Fourth Graders learn about entrepreneurship and raise funds for their Moving On Ceremony by visiting the student-run school store. The store is open every Friday outside of the gym from dismissal to 3:30 pm.

Questions? Please contact Tatiana Pantazopoulos (

A Way to Support the PTA While You Shop

If you shop at Amazon, you can support the PTA in a very easy way. Click the link below to designate the Burbank PTA on Amazon Smile, and Amazon will donate a portion of your purchases to us!

Go to

Upcoming Events

March 7th: Wilson Farm Shopping Day

March 8: Early Release Day (conferences)

March 10: Movie Night

March 15: Early Release Day (conferences)

March 22: Early Release Day (conferences)

March 23-24: Geography Challenge

View PTA Calendar

Community Postings


Belmont Public Library News

All programs are free. Call 617-993-2880 for more information.


BOOK BUDDIES -- Monday, March 6 at 3:30pm OR 4:00pm
Beginning readers in Kindergarten through 2nd grade are invited to practice their reading skills by reading one-on-one with a teen volunteer in this monthly program. Registration required. Register online or call 617-993-2880.

MAKER CLUB FOR KIDS IN GRADES 1 AND 2 -- Wednesday, March 8 at 1:00pm
Join the Duct Tape Network for an afternoon of creativity and making. Come flex your creative muscles as we challenge you to bring your ideas to life through design challenges. For kids in grades 1 and 2. Registration required. Register online or call 617-993-2880.

STORYOGA -- Thursday, March 23 at 3:30pm
Join yoga instructor Edith Petrosyan for this yoga based class that combines imaginative play with educational elements. Please come in comfortable clothing to move in and bring a yoga mat. For kids in grades K-2. Registration required. Register online or call 617-993-2880.


NIGHT OWLS STORYTIME -- Tuesday, March 14 at 6:30pm
Join us for this new monthly storytime featuring stories, songs, and a craft. Ideal for kids ages 3-6.

FBE Outstanding Teacher Awards

The Foundation for Belmont Education is excited to announce the 2017 Outstanding Teacher Awards. This program recognizes and celebrates the extraordinary contributions made by teachers in the Belmont Public Schools. Nominations are currently being accepted for these awards. Belmont parents and community members, Belmont Public School colleagues, and high school or middle school students can submit nominations for teachers - of any grade, subject, or specialty - who they feel deserve this special recognition. Teachers from Belmont’s six schools are chosen for this award. Each award winner will be honored at a surprise celebration at their school and at a district-wide awards ceremony to be held on May 2nd at the Chenery Middle School.

Nominate an Outstanding Teacher Today!

Nomination Criteria and Online Nomination Form (submit before March 31, 2017):

For more information:

Questions? Karen Gray -

A Night Out with the FBE
Tickets on Sale Now!

Join the FBE for A NIGHT OUT March 18th, 7:00-10:30 and Help Make A Difference in the Belmont Public Schools!

PURCHASE TICKETS or MAKE A DONATION. Tickets for this event sell out quickly, so Don’t Wait!

NEW THIS YEAR! Silent Auction with great ‘night out’ packages and experiences, Cocktail Party and Much More – Stay Tuned


Thank you for your support of the FBE!

Burbank Elementary School PTA

266 School Street
Belmont MA 02478

PTA Co-Presidents

Jessie Bennett

Katherine Poulin-Kerstien

PTA Website

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PTA Calendar

Burbank Weather Station 


posted: March 2, 2017 by webmaster
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