BURLINGTON, NC, April 10, 2018 – During the recent NSTA conference, Carolina Biological Supply Company, the leading school science supplier and an NSTA show sponsor, launched the new Building Blocks of Science|3D hands-on unit kits for students in grades K to 5. This complete, inquiry-based program integrates engineering into every grade and includes everything teachers need for their entire class for every lesson and activity with hands-on materials, print, and digital simulations and components for one all-inclusive price. The program is a core curriculum that combines interactive investigations, literacy components, and digital resources to teach students science content and investigative skills. It meets Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Performance Expectations and exposes students to science phenomena – all in just 30 minutes a day.
Written by science educators at Carolina, Building Blocks of Science|3D was developed to explicitly meet the NGSS and align to the Common Core State Standards in Literacy and Math. All 18 kits in the series are available now in English or Spanish. The program can help elementary teachers fit science into busy school days.
Building Blocks of Science|3D comes in K-5 grade-based kits, three per grade. Each addresses a specific bundle of NGSS performance expectations based on an anchoring phenomenon. The series provides an entire school year’s science curriculum, which enables teachers to teach science daily with 30-minute lessons. To give an example of the topics, the Kindergarten units are Push, Pull, Go, centered around recognizing forces and their resulting motions on the playground; Living Things and Their Needs concentrates on recognizing the needs of living things and their behaviors to obtain them; and Weather and Sky focuses on recognizing how weather affects students’ daily lives. The three units for Grade 3 include , which delves into interactions between forces at an amusement park; explores the amazing diversity of life in the ecosystems students live in; and , which teaches students that weather and climate are connected.
Each unit of the program includes a Teacher’s Guide, eTeacher’s Guide, Digital Resources and Simulations, and Interactive Reader access on Carolina Science Online, and enough reading books and hands-on lab materials for a class of 24 students for kits in grades K–2, or 30 students in kits for grades 3–5, all in one comprehensive package. The Teacher’s Guide includes objectives and standards, materials preparation steps and class-time requirements, background, vocabulary, procedures, assessments, ideas for cross-curricular extensions, and blackline masters for assessment, student procedures, and data sheets.
“Building Blocks of Science|3D is composed of lessons containing hands-on investigations, simulations and digital activities centered around science and engineering phenomena that will engage students in STEM learning for the whole school year,” said David Heller, Director of Curriculum Products and Development, at Carolina. “NGSS Performance Expectations require students to build knowledge in a thoughtful, progressive order. The Building Blocks of Science|3D learning framework creates a conceptual learning progression in each of the NGSS three dimensions, across science disciplines, and across grade levels. Students are able to interconnect the knowledge and skills needed to meet performance expectations.”
Teachers need a variety of ways to deliver concepts and differentiate instruction in order to reach every student. The Building Blocks of Science|3D hands-on investigation kits, a variety of digital media, and printed resources all work together to make every student a confident learner. The program meets an important NGSS requirement by providing students with multiple opportunities to interact with each of the three dimensions. Digital simulations offer formative assessment that gives instant feedback to students. The program’s 99 simulations give a straightforward and quick way for teachers to assess student understanding. The custom-created simulations are directly tied to the phenomena in the units.
Building Blocks of Science|3D units include 4 to 6 lessons with several investigations. The program encourages students to build upon existing ideas using the “5 E’s”—engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate. Each unit offers opportunities for students to make sense of scientific content by developing claims and supporting those claims with evidence and reasoning.
Lessons begin with an Anchoring Phenomenon and video to spike students’ interest and make science relevant to their lives. Engineering is integrated into every grade and called out specifically for the teacher in the Teacher’s Guide. Each new lesson scaffolds on prior lessons, culminating with a performance assessment task in the final lesson.
Teaching Tips, Digital Tips, and Differentiation Strategies for teachers are also embedded throughout the lesson. Student Investigation Sheets are provided to help students record and interpret information in each investigation. Teacher versions with sample answers are also included.
Pre-unit and post-unit assessments are provided. At the end of each investigation, specific strategies are included to utilize Student Investigation Sheets and Tell Me More questions as formative assessment tools. Also, cumulative assessment for each unit allows students to demonstrate their understanding of content by responding to questions in a variety of formats, both print and digital.
Student Readers enable teachers to differentiate their instruction with appropriate informational text at an on-grade and/or below-grade level of reading. Both literacy readers have the same cover, art, and content to support whole-class discussion of the reading. Following the investigations students read the informational text, providing for stronger contextual understanding of the lesson content.
To meet the changing needs of the modern classroom, Building Blocks of Science|3D provides a digital experience for students and teachers through an online portal. Whether there is one computer in a classroom or 1-1 accessibility, teachers and students can access the program in a digital format. This includes access to the Teacher Guide, interactive Student Readers and Literacy components, digital simulations for every unit, interactive whiteboard activities and summative assessment.
Materials Equipment Kits
The program units include the equipment needed for each science lesson and investigation in materials equipment kits. The materials are packaged in sturdy plastic tubs and are equipped with either a three-use or single-use format. Refurbishment kits are available to replenish the consumable items used during the investigations.
Building Blocks of Science|3D hands-on investigation kits are available now, for each grade K-5. They include a print-format Teacher Guide, one big book (K), a set of 24 (grades 1-2) or 30 (grades 3-5) Building Blocks of Science|3D Literacy Series™ student books, a class kit of hands-on materials to supply 24 (grades K-2) or 30 (grades 3-5) students, and digital access. Prices start at $321.95 for one kit through Carolina. Refurbishment sets are also available for subsequent use of the kit. For information, visit Carolina’s website (opens in new tab) or www.buildingblocksofscience.com, call (800) 334-5551, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carolina Biological Supply Company
From its beginnings in 1927, Carolina (www.carolina.com (opens in new tab)) has grown to become the leading supplier of biological and other science teaching materials in the world. Headquartered in Burlington, NC, Carolina serves customers worldwide, including teachers, students, and professionals in science and health-related fields. The company is still privately owned by descendants of the founder, geology and biology professor Dr. Thomas E. Powell Jr.