Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Day 139 - Please Welcome the Senior Interns! - Mr. Wong - BHS Help Desk Teacher

It’s been an exciting April as several senior interns joined the Help Desk team this month. Most of them are working on independent coding projects while they’ve been with me, but a couple are working on completing past projects and learning more in-depth techniques with audio and video recording, editing, and production. I’m looking forward to seeing their projects at the end of next month.
Interns (with names)(Group photo of Greg, Saif, Julian, Rohit, Souleiman, and Brian)
Souleiman Benhida
I would like to create an iPhone app during the internship period. While I had previous iPhone development experience, this was several years ago, and there is a new programming language, Swift, that I would like to learn. I have a project that was started a few years ago, but never completed, that I would like to work on. Iqamah Times is an app that would serve the Muslim community. Muslims have five daily major prayers that can be prayed individually or in congregation. However, if one is away from home, it can be difficult to find congregational times for nearby mosques. With Iqamah Times, users can discover local mosques, discover what time prayers are at local mosques, and receive notifications for congregational prayer times. I will be coordinating with others as this is merely the iPhone facet of this project; there is already an existing Android application and website. I plan to market this application to mosques in the area and hopefully expand it. This app would serve as a useful tool to the Muslim community while providing me with useful development experience that I could use to obtain future internships and jobs down the line.
Anusha Datar
AnushaDatar.jpg (1).jpg
Anusha Datar is a senior at BHS completing an internship project with the help desk. She is extremely involved in the BHS FIRST Robotics team, the debate team, and the multicultural club. In addition to participating in school activities, Anusha volunteers at many local schools and robotics events, and she also works at two engineering education startups and as a private tutor. She will be studying computer engineering in college next year.
While Anusha has enjoyed studying many topics in science and engineering, she mostly enjoys projects that combine working on hardware and using software to solve problems. Over the course of her internship, Anusha hopes to create and program a scale model of a self-driving car that runs powerful software (such as ROS, the Robot Operating System) but is still an affordable base. While the autonomy the car will have itself will depend on the difficulty of the hardware solutions involved, Anusha hopes to include obstacle avoidance, wall-following, computer vision through a camera, and other features in her final project.

Kat Ellis
katI would like to spend my time editing and producing my film documentary on the boys varsity hockey team (teacher’s note: Kat also produced a video for the hockey team’s banquet). If I finish early, I may begin a new film with a different focus group and main plot. I have been considering doing team features on the Burlington spring sports teams, or maybe doing an individual documentary on one person to make it personalized and appealing to an audience.  By doing an internship during the school day instead of attending my normal classes, I will have the opportunity to get help all day from both Mr. Wong and the workers in BCAT whereas now I only have the opportunity to do so during my designated class period and after school hours. In college, I am planning on majoring in creative film and media, and I feel as though this is a great learning opportunity and an even better hands on experience to get some knowledge on film editing and how to produce a good film.
Greg Lamb
My name is Greg Lamb and I’m a senior here at BHS. Currently, I’m completing my internship at Help Desk under the topic of Computer Science. My internship project is to utilize my knowledge in the Java coding language and to learn and incorporate OpenGL into my code in order to create a video game from scratch. I am planning on attending UMass Dartmouth and will be furthering my studies in computer science over the next four years.
Julian Lechner
Hi, I’m Julian Lechner and I’m a senior doing an internship under Mr. Wong. My project has to do with exploring serial communication through arduino boards. Throughout the internship, I will be doing a few projects using programming, circuit boards, and other tools to make some cool things. So far after learning the basics, I have made a light-based theremin using some photoresistors and a speaker. I can’t wait to do some more projects throughout this internship!
Henry Lutwama
henryI am proposing that my work as an intern with Mr. Wong, teacher at the Burlington High School Help Desk, will help me develop and gain more knowledge about music recording and production and help me in any upcoming projects that are music related. Some of the tasks to be completed with Mr. Wong include learning how to play the guitar, recording music, production of music and many more. With very little knowledge and support, I have always had interest in doing digital music production and recording and when I saw a chance like this come my way, I could not let it pass me.
Nick Matossian
Nick Matossian.pngMy internship project involves landscape building within video games, as well as object manipulation and custom NPC generation. I specifically will be working in the video game “The Elder Scrolls Skyrim”. Skyrim gives me the utilities to use to do all this, called the Creation Kit which lets me add, edit or remove anything inside of the game, which includes adding completely new material. It is the same program that their game developers used to create the rich open world video game that I love so much.

Rohit Pathak
Programming is one of my main hobbies. Currently, I am taking AP Computer Science A and last year, I took Programming. I have attended hackathons, went to a game design camp as a programmer, and self-taught myself a language. My intended major in college is computer science, and I am very passionate about it.
During this internship, I would like to make a website with interactive tutorials that help children learn the fundamentals of programming. Computer science is a skill which heavily involves logic, and guiding children while they are still growing not only helps them become better programmers but also better students. I’ve always been interested in teaching students since I have a younger brother.
The tutorials would involve a problem or challenge which the children should solve, step-by-step. I would guide them through the steps if they need help. Then, I would show them the logic on how to specifically solve the problems using code. This would be broken up into chunks with heavy guidance. For example, I would first teach the students how to convert numbers into binary. Then, once they know the method, I would guide them on how to implement this using code. This way, when they write the program, any number can be entered, and its corresponding binary value would output.
Brian Pukmel
In this internship, I will be exploring the concept of motion sensing as it pertains to the Raspberry Pi/linux system. My project will be to create a security camera using the Pi that, when it senses motion, takes a burst of pictures to act as a security camera of sorts. The field of machine learning is a growing one, and I plan to expand my knowledge into this field through this internship. I plan to work on this project every period of the day except for periods 5 and 7. This would allow me ample time to not only complete the project but refine it and make sure it is a high-quality end product. I plan to be finished with the skeleton code for this project before the end of May, thus allowing me 1-2 weeks to perfect the algorithm. Overall, partaking in this internship will allow me to gain experience in a constantly growing computer science field, and afford me the opportunity to implement object oriented programming into a real-life issue.
The first week, I plan to teach myself Linux, which is the language and operating system that the Pi runs on. After familiarizing myself with this, I will be able to bring the camera itself into play, and learn about how the camera itself translates pixels into moving parts on the computer screen, and how sensing these pixels can allow for the Pi to sense when movement is taking place in front of the camera. Then, I will use these new skills to design, write, and apply an algorithm that will sense motion, and trigger a camera to go off when it is in fact sensed. Even though the linux based systems are often terribly
Eddie Reis
See and my blog posts at for background on my project, the Augmented Reality (AR) Sandbox. During the first semester, I built the computer, AKA the brains of the AR Sandbox. It houses everything needed to operate the sandbox at the software level and also is the power behind it all allowing us to create these alterations on the map as it happens REAL TIME. The XBox 360 Kinect has a depth camera which allows it to use lasers to tell how far or how close something is to the sensor. This allows for measurements of the sand and its height in real time. Next, we have the projector which allows you to see how the computer and code analyze the depth from the Kinect into a topographic map. It just projects what is happening on the computer and just visually represents the map. Using depth, the computer program analyzes heights and draws a map based on the height, at a certain level it will become a hill or mountain, and at certain levels it becomes water.
The AR Sandbox is going to be sent out to elementary schools as a visual representation of a changing world and an easy way to learn about maps and geography. When water simulation (running water) is added it will allow users to “make it rain” and will show the way water moves due to gravity and will also show evaporation. I came back to the Help Desk to do an internship so I could complete the final version of the AR Sandbox so it can be used by the Burlington Science Center with other Burlington schools.
Laura Schissler
Laura.pngHi! My name is Laura Schissler and I’m a Quarter Four Senior Intern here at BHS Help Desk. I took a variety of classes during my time as a student at BHS, but never was able to explore another interest of mine- computer science. That being said, I’m really excited to have the opportunity to learn more about various aspects of technology and programming during my time at Help Desk. While I have a good amount of experience working with computers and software, I’m somewhat of a novice when it comes to programming and coding specifically. I plan to take this opportunity to expand my foundation of knowledge in this area. Last year, I designed a website for an AP final project which allowed me to indulge my interest in graphic design and website creation. For my internship, I will be working with two other senior interns to assist Ms. Deacon with expanding and improving Burlington High School’s Career Exploration Program for students. Specifically, my role will be providing tech support and creating a website for the program to use as a platform of information for those interested in the upcoming years.
Shailin Shah
Shailin.pngComputer science has always fascinated me for the simple reason that mastery requires both creativity and problem-solving skills. No single method is correct, and previously-used methods can always be improved upon. I have taken C++ as well as AP Java in our high school.  This past summer, I had the opportunity to work in a Graduate research laboratory at Northeastern University, and learned MatLab and have coded and developed algorithms to aid research involving vibration theory.  In college, I plan to pursue a Computer science degree in conjunction with an engineering degree.
       The New England High School Hackathon was an opportunity to apply my coding skills and utilize my creativity to plan, code, and implement a project of our choosing. My team and I constructed a gaming concept that mimicked the traditional game Pong, a simple two-dimensional game.  However, our remake was 3-D and required the player to physically move his or her hands (similar to holding the paddle).  We used the computer’s camera and developed image-tracking software to determine the relative location of the hand and move the digital paddle correspondingly.  We were awarded the first prize for being “Most Entrepreneurial”.
Later that day, I sat down with my grandfather to perform his daily hand exercises. He had suffered from multiple strokes and lived with the resultant paralysis in his left extremities.  Therapy was progressing very slowly with respect to his fingers and thumb movement.  Suddenly, the idea struck me: What if there was a more efficient and accurate way to assess my grandfather’s rehabilitation progress?  The analysis of such data could direct more effective and personalized therapies! Our hand-tracking software could be used to measure a stroke victim’s range of motion, quantify it, and track changes over time. I would plan to use image tracking technology and my knowledge of C++ and C# to develop an application that would allow me to track hand movement and use my knowledge of statistics to run regression tests and analyze deficiencies in movement.
With time allotted during an internship and effort, I hopefully will be able to develop a successful prototype, and use it to quantify my grandfather’s arm’s range of motion correctly! I imagine the potential impact this could have on other stroke victims, as well as my father, and hope to be able to create this software under the supervision of Mr.Wong at Burlington High School. If this project were to be a success, I know that the possibilities for improving therapy for stroke patients are endless.
Mohammed Saif Shaikh
Buenos dias y’all. My name is Mohammad Saif Shaikh and I am a senior here at Burlington High School. I am heavily involved in the Burlington and Boston communities through volunteer work, and at the high school I participate in many extracurricular clubs and sports. Throughout high school, computer science has thoroughly piqued my interest. Currently, I am interning at the BHS Help Desk, allowing me to explore Web Development, a branch of computer science that I have been interested but have not been able to explore in the traditional classroom setting. I am learning how to implement programming languages such as JavaScript, HTML, and CSS to create a functional, visually-aesthetic website. The website will be a tool for high school students to use in order to study for a variety of AP courses with materials, notes, review games, score calculators. This project will serve as a repository for a wealth of easily accessible, organized information for the benefit of AP students. Perhaps most importantly, this project provides an experience that I can use in the future. In the upcoming years, I will be pursuing an education in computer science and electrical engineering at Northeastern University.
Devanshu Soni
Dev SoniHello! I’m Dev Soni and I’m a senior at Burlington High School. I have spent the past few years here being heavily interested in a variety of classes while specializing in mostly sciences. In my personal time, I am a highly dedicated gymnast and tennis player on my own time and during the seasons. As my hobby, over the years I have developed a keen interest in game design. Starting from my early years of playing Nintendo 64 Mario with my uncle to today where I have a vast collection of games in my Steam library.
As I grew up and played games from my youth I became more and more curious about how games were becoming better and better while consoles were getting smaller and more powerful. As I found the information I also discovered the magical process of creating games from game conventions with developer panels explaining their designing journeys. I tried to watch as many videos as I could and learned about game graphics, design, story, concepts, engines and more.
After I collected all this knowledge I put it into practice and starting learning how to do the game creation process myself. I learned 3D modeling in the free software Blender, art graphics in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and learned about game mechanics and coding. I now have a desire to develop this hobby and abundance of knowledge to a professional level and work in the game industry as a developer. I have enrolled in Quinnipiac University for the game design program and plan to begin my journey in professional level game development.
In my internship in BHS Helpdesk, I have the great opportunity to spend my time putting together my knowledge into one quality game that I cannot do without a rigorous schedule. I plan on developing a 2D platformer from scratch using Construct 2 as the game engine to connect the code with graphics and create a final product. The minimum viable product is the goal since polishing it into a final end product requires an extra month and requires many small things that are unrealistic as a base to learn from. My objective is to learn all I can from developing my first game rather than creating a fresh product for the market. This will help cultivate my skills and develop them for the next game and for the future!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Day 138 - Google Classroom: Explained by a 4th Grader - Jenn Scheffer - Fox Hill IT

This post first appeared on the BPS EdTech Blog

I am pleased and very proud to share a tutorial on Google Classroom created by fourth grade Fox Hill Help Desk student Celeste. In this tutorial, Celeste demonstrates how teachers can create a class, invite students and co-teachers, how to post announcements, assignments, and questions, and how to change the classroom theme. Celeste shows how easy and intuitive Google Classroom is for teachers and students and her tutorial is a must watch!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Day 137 - BHS Poetry Stations - Mrs. Graham - BHS English Dept.

In honor of National Library Week and National Poetry Month, the BHS Library, the English Department, and Poetic Ramblings, BHS’s poetry and culture club, sponsored poetry stations in the upper and lower library spaces. Students in each English period spent the day crafting their own original works of poetry. A description of the stations and pictures can be found below. #bhspoetrymonth #NationalLibraryWeek #LibrariesTransform
Poetry Activity Station Bonanza!
  • Magnetic Poetry Station (Lower Library): Sit at a table. Take a look at the magnetic words. Make some magnetic poetry magic.
  • Illustration Station (Upper Library): Here, you’ll find markers, colored pencils and pens, blank paper and coloring pages. You’ll also find a series of poems. You can look at the poems and illustrate them. OR, you can use one of the illustrated coloring pages to inspire your own poetry; color, write, enjoy!
  • Black-out Poetry Station (Lower Library): We read some amazing books at BHS! Take a look at some of the pages from these books and pay attention to the language. Black-out poetry is when you take a published page and alter it by “blacking-out” all the words on the page that you don’t want in your poem.
  • Collaborative Writing Station (Lower Library): Grab a partner and start writing. There are two separate activities here: (1) PING-PONG POETRY, which is when you write a line of a poem and then hand it off to your partner for that poet to write a line. You exchange until the poem is complete. (2) TAG, SONNET! (Like, “Tag, you’re it!” only so much better). This activity is similar to ping-pong poetry, only you write a sonnet!
  • Haiku Station (Lower Library): Write a haiku. You can use some of the nature photographs as inspiration. Also, feel free to take your haiku and make a paper swan using the origami paper and instructions provided.
  • Free-Write Station (Lower Library): Grab some paper and start writing.
  • Book Spine Poetry Station (Upper Library): Stack some books. Use their titles to make an original poem. Fun!
  • Poetry Appreciation Station (Upper Library): Sit in the comfy chairs, relax, and read. Leave a bookmark in your favorite poem for the next person. Feel free to write them a note about why you love it.
  • Unexpected Metaphors Station (Lower Library): Build a poem using some fresh and unexpected metaphors.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Day 136 - Magnetizing Week - Mrs. Bennett - Fox Hill Kindergarten

To prepare for our field trip to the Discovery Museum; we learned about force.  Force is a push or pull causing movement. One type of force we focused on was Magnetic force. We started by sharing our schema and everything we already know about magnets.  We explored different magnets and experimented with different materials to see what is magnetic, like iron, and what is not magnetic. Mr. Musselman came to our class to do a magnet show. 

Schema Map

Magnet Explorations

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Day 135 - Memorial School Starts Geography Club - Mrs. Burns

This post first appeared on Mrs. Burns' Blog

Memorial's first ever Geography Club started today. Fourth and Fifth graders are getting ready to take on the Mystery Skype Challenge with other schools across the country and even the globe. Today we had a Mystery Country challenge as well as a Kahoot Geography Review competition.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Day 134 - Budding Meteorologists Shine in Ms. Felton’s Kindergarten Class - Mrs. Myer - Memorial Library/Media Specialist

This post first appeared on the BPS EdTech Blog

Ms. Felton’s Kindergarten class at Memorial Elementary has been learning about weather. To show their knowledge, each student wrote about the type of weather they would like to report for the day.  Students visited the Memorial Learning Commons, where they were excited to read their sentences and post the high temperature of the day on a thermometer while being videotaped in front of a green screen.  The students watched themselves with enthusiasm and shared a FANTASTIC chant at the end.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Day 133 - Math Mystery Solved in 3 Acts! - Mrs. Fortunato visits Mrs. Hoyt's K Class

This post first appeared on Mrs. Hoyt's Blog 

Our K-5 Math Coach Carrie Fortunato returned to room 103 last week to lead us in a 3 Act Math lesson.  The students really enjoyed this style of lesson and the discussion we had were very impressive!  We started by looking at an image that showed a pile of red and yellow tiles and we had to comment on the picture and ponder what we may wonder.

Our ponderings led us to a discussion of how many tiles there might be in all.  So, we estimate and sorted our estimations into groups.

We the watched a brief video in which the pile in the image was being sorted, but the video ends before the pile is completely sorted and it is up to us to try to figure out what we think the total number of tiles actually is!

We went to our tables and used our own piles of tiles and worked through our thoughts any way we wanted to!  The teachers encouraged us but did not tell us how to go about solving this mystery.  Many different approaches were taken!

We gathered back on the rug to share our thoughts and notes.  Students had to explain their thinking.  

In the end, we watched a final video that completed the sorting.  Amazingly nearly all of us had figured out the solution that there were 21 tiles in all!  Thank you Mrs. Fortunato!  We loved 3-Act Math!