Friday, February 12, 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Day 101 - Congratulations MSMS Artists & Writers - Ms. Phillips - MSMS Art Dept.

Congratulations are extended to this years Scholastic art and writing award winners!
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have existed since 1923 and the contest affords students across the country the opportunity to be recognized for their talents.  Notable winners of these prestigious awards include Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, and Robert Redford.  Judges look for originality, technical skill, and development of a personal voice and/or vision.  At the regional level, students are selected  to receive the Gold Key, the Silver Key, or Honorable Mention.
The 2016 MSMS award winners were selected from more 15,000 ART entries and 2,500 WRITING entries submitted to the Massachusetts Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, where just over 50 judges had to make hard choices based on the 3 criteria of originality, technical skill, and personal vision.
Grade 8 Art Awards
Sydney Alesse (currently gr. 9), Film & Animation, Honorable Mention for   “Nightmare”
Cynara Ferrao (currently gr. 9), Drawing & Illustration, Honorable Mention for“Self Portrait”'Cynara' by Cynara Ferrao from grade 8 2015
Bridgett Brown, Painting, Honorable Mention for “Untitled”Brown_Bridgett_Painting
Olivia Perry, Painting, Honorable Mention for “Urban Sunrise”  Urban Sunrise by Olivia Perry grade 8
Grace Rakes, Drawing & Illustration, Silver Key for “Inspiration Daydream”Rakes_Grace_Drawing
Sameeksha Sharma, Drawing & Illustration, Honorable Mention for “Precious Smile”Sharma_Sameeksha_Drawing_7
Grade 7 Art Awards
Jack Giles, Drawing & Illustration, Honorable Mention for “Patriot Pride”Giles_Jack_Drawing  copy
Photography Awards (from MSMS Photography Club)
Ashlyn Biundo, gr. 8, Silver Key for “Untitled”Biundo_Ashlyn_photography
Bridget Conceison, gr. 8,  Silver Key for “Bitter and SweetConceison_Bridget_photography_2
Sophia Lupo, gr. 9, Honorable Mention for “Invisible”Lupo_Sophia_Photography1
Sarah Owens, gr. 9, Silver Key for “Enjoying the View”Owens_Sarah_Photography1 copy
Neil Pandit, gr. 9, Silver Key for “Into the Barn”pPandit_Neil_Photograph
Olivia Perry, gr. 8, Honorable Mention for “Concrete Jungle”Perry_Olivia_Photography
Shea Riley, gr. 7, Silver Key for “Portrait of Shannon”Riley_Shea_photography
Layla Robinson, gr. 8, Silver Key for “My Grandma”Layla_Robinson_Photography
Sarah Schissler, gr. 8, Honorable Mention for “Road to Vacation”schissler_Sarah_Digital Images copy
8th Grade BEAM students entered in this year’s writing contest include the following award recipients (writing provided in links).
Congratulations to all students who participated!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Day 99 - Science Center Presents New Science Standards Implementation Plan to MA Education Leaders

Miss Pavlicek and Mr. Musselman had the recent honor of presenting at the Cambridge College Science Colloquium.  Following the adoption of new state science, technology, and engineering standards, Miss. P and Mr. Musselman were charged with sharing how the Science Center and several Burlington elementary school faculty members are working together to implement changes to their science classroom instruction.
Miss Pavlicek shared how the Science Center has been facilitating professional development to interested faculty through after school short courses and Science Center / classroom teacher partnerships to makeover current curriculum to better meet the new expectations put forth by the standards. Mr. Musselman shared about how the Science Center has plotted curriculum implementation that rolls out new curriculum over several years, improving over time through elementary teacher feedback and work over the summer with elementary faculty. He also shared some of the many resources the Science Center has drawn from and curriculum collaboration networks both he and Miss Pavlicek have been participating in.
Miss P. and Mr. Musselman’s slides can be seen above. Stay tuned for a link from BCATV (who were kind enough to film the event) as soon as it is published.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Snow Day Extra - Apple Vs. Microsoft: A Customer Service Exposé - Caroline Akerley - BHS Senior

On Sunday, January 21, fellow Help Desk member Chandler Joyce and I ventured into the Burlington Mall in the hopes of exposing customer service pitfalls and triumphs in two opposing stores: Apple and Microsoft.
Our first stop was the Apple store. It was undoubtedly busy, with customers and workers bustling about. When we entered however, I was shocked to see that we were ignored by the “greeter.” We walked around the store aimlessly for a few minutesIMG_8347 without a single worker offering assistance. Even those who were not busy seemed to be ignoring us. Eventually, I approached a worker and asked if anyone was available to offer me advice and expertise on laptops. The employee that they sent over to assist was surprisingly helpful. He compared the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro side by side, giving us specific examples of the differences and benefits of each. He asked questions about what I wanted out of a laptop and what I planned to use it for. He asked where I am going to school next year and what I will be studying and he adjusted his recommendation based on my answers.
Not only did he explain the technical aspects of the laptops, he also detailed the advantages of AppleCare and the readily-available and well-versed customer service options in the case of issues or questions. I did, however, find that some of the terms he used were confusing, and I left the store feeling less confident in my knowledge of technology. Despite being confused by his use of jargon, he was very friendly and easy to talk to, and he knew the answers to all of my questions. He seemed disappointed that I did not make the decision to purchase a laptop on the spot, but he wished me luck in my search and shook my hand before I left. Overall, despite being initially ignored by employees, the customer service I was received was satisfactory.
After a short walk, Chandler and I arrived at the Microsoft Store. As soon as I took one step into the store, a friendly worker greeted me, and asked me what I was looking for. She advised me to browse around and ask if I had any questions. Another employee almost immediately approached me and offered help finding a laptop. He started our search by aIMG_8348sking what I wanted out of a laptop. Despite my inability to give him a definite indication, he asked several questions in order to prompt me to give him the information he needed to help me. I was very impressed by his genuine interest in my answers and assisting me in my search.
I was shown a much wider variety of products at Microsoft, which was overwhelming at first. The employee made a point, however, to take his time explaining the benefits of each product in order to make a more worthwhile recommendation to me. He understood that I was not looking to buy anything, and that what I needed from him was expertise and advice. I was especially impressed when he explained, in detail, what software I would need in order to use my laptop the way I want to. It was clear to me that he was not interested in convincing me to buy any of their products at that moment, but instead that he wanted to ensure that I had the knowledge I needed to make the right decision, no matter what that decision be. I was overall very pleased with the service I received.
One could not go wrong in purchasing products from either Apple or Microsoft. I will, however, say that I was slightly more impressed with the customer service I received at Microsoft. This could have simply been due to the Apple store being busier or possibly one uncharacteristically inattentive greeter. Regardless, I left both stores satisfied with the information that I was given, and would recommend either to anyone in need of technology advice.
Help Desk’s commitment to customer service
Ms. Scheffer ensures that all Help Desk members know exactly how to treat our customers. As she has taught me, I use the helpful hint “WIRED” as a reminder. The first step, the “W”, stands for “welcome the customer.” After not having been welcomed at the Apple store, I realize that this is a necessary step in order to make the customer feel comfortable. A friendly and genuine greeting demonstrates that the worker is interested and excited to help. The “I” stands for “investigate the issue.” It is important to ask probing questions in order to fully understand the issue that the customer has. This is exactly what the Microsoft employee did. “R” stands for “resolve the issue.” The ultimate goal is to help either reach a solution, or give the customer the means and information to do so independently. The “E” stands for “encourage a return visit.” Customers should feel comfortable to return for any future questions or help, and also for recommendations or advice. The goal of Help Desk is not to just fix apps or help students connect to Wi-Fi; we would like to help customers utilize technology more efficiently and more often. The final letter, “D,” stands for “develop a relationship.” In the Microsoft store, I felt comfortable to ask the employees whatever I needed, and I would certainly return if I had further questions. We hope to do the same in Help Desk. After experiencing firsthand how varying degrees of customer service make a customer feel, I plan to apply my knowledge to Help Desk.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Day 98 - Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles - Mr. Scarpulla - Fox Hill Art

The fifth grade students have finished up making bubbles using chalk.  The effect is very realistic when they keep control of the chalk, add color and add a shine to them.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016