Science Education Leaders Smithsonian and Carolina Biological Launch New Engineering Program for Elementary

New Smithsonian Science for the Classroom™ Engineering modules enable teachers to plan and confidently teach grades 1 to 5 engineering lessons and hands on labs

BURLINGTON, NC, Feb. 28, 2018 – Carolina Biological Supply Company, the leading school science supplier, and the Smithsonian Science Education Center recently launched the new Smithsonian Science for the Classroom™ Engineering modules for students in grades 1 to 5. With school demand for new STEM products that address Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and are easy to implement, the Smithsonian Science Education Center responded with a new generation of high-quality curriculum materials—Smithsonian Science for the Classroom. Developed to meet the NGSS, Smithsonian Science for the Classroom is an innovative program for school districts that includes print and digital components, as well as hands-on materials. Perfect and timely for districts looking for ways to encourage summer school attendance, the program’s high-interest engineering content teaches science and provides meaningful literacy and math experiences. Blending content, practices, and crosscutting concepts, the hands-on engineering modules are designed to engage students and meet Performance Expectations.

Leveraging Smithsonian Science Education Center’s high-quality content, the program is designed to help teachers feel comfortable with introducing engaging and fun hands-on engineering lessons and activities into their summer program or as part of their year-long science and engineering curriculum. The program presents students with real-world problems and teaches them to design real-world solutions. Module kits for grades 1 and 2 are available now. Grades 3-5 are expected to ship this spring.

Smithsonian Science for the Classroom Engineering modules comes in five grade-based modules. Each module of the program includes a Teacher Guide with step-by-step teacher instructions, hands-on lab materials, literacy and student activity guides, assessment, and digital eBook versions of the Teacher Guide and student books all in one package.

Concise 30-minute lessons include opportunities to further incorporate literacy and science Notebooking through enrichment and extensions. Each module is flexible in organization to meet the needs of summer programs, or as part of the school year’s science curriculum.

Smithsonian Science for the Classroom Engineering modules bring the expertise of the Smithsonian to elementary schools to engage students in summer school science using the newest NGSS-aligned methods,” said David Heller, Director of Curriculum Products and Development, at Carolina. “Our modules make learning engineering fun for students and are classroom-ready with everything teachers need to present a series of grade-appropriate engineering concepts and guide hands-on problem-solving activities. Smithsonian Science for the Classroom helps teachers new to engineering to feel confident with time-saving, prepared lessons and activities. Teachers will also find tips for ELL students, technology integration, and extension activities that are all built on research-based practices from the Smithsonian.”

Smithsonian Science for the Classroom Engineering modules integrate engineering and science, without separating engineering design from the scientific knowledge it is based on. Ten to fifteen lessons per module integrate engineering with life, Earth and physical science. Students build skills in science and engineering practices, problem solving, and collaboration. Engineering investigations integrate literacy and math. The modules teach science, literacy, and math all in one program. Module titles introduce questions about natural phenomena or problems for students to investigate and design solutions:

1. Grade 1 – How Can We Send a Message Using Sound? (Science emphasis on: Physical Science) Students help Hopper the Frog cross the river. They design and build a simple instrument to send messages to help Hopper safely cross the river.

2. Grade 2 – How Can We Stop Soil from Washing Away? (Science emphasis on: Earth and Space Science) Students are challenged to save sand towers from eroding away. Students are asked to design and build a plan to prevent the washing away of sand towers.

3. Grade 3 – How Can We Protect Animals When their Habitat Changes? (Science emphasis on: Life Science) Students are challenged to save the salamanders as they design and test a solution to help salamanders safely cross a busy road.

4. Grade 4 – How Can We Provide Energy to People’s Homes? (Science emphasis on: Physical, Earth, Space Science) Students apply what they learn about the transfer of energy as they design, build, and test a solution to wiring a door bell into a model house.

5. Grade 5 – How Can We Provide Fresh Water to Those in Need? (Science emphasis on: Earth and Space Science) Students are challenged to design a freshwater delivery system that provides enough water to sustain all the stakeholders in a community: agriculture, industry, the environment, and housing.

Availability: Smithsonian Science for the Classroom Engineering modules will be available in 5 module kits this spring, one for each grade 1-5. Grade 1 and Grade 2 are available now. They include a print-format Teacher Guide, a set of 16 Smithsonian Science Stories, a class kit of hands-on materials to supply 32 students, and digital access to the Teacher Guide and student literacy materials. Prices start at $899.95 for one grade-level module through Carolina. Refurbishment sets are also available starting at $249 to refill the hands-on consumables for subsequent use of the module. For information, visit Carolina’s website, call (800) 334-5551, or e-mail

Smithsonian Science Education Center: The mission of the Smithsonian Science Education Center is to transform and improve the teaching and learning of science for PreK-12 students in the United States and throughout the world. Established in 1985 as the National Science Resources Center (NSRC) under the sponsorship of two prestigious institutions – the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academy of Sciences – the Center is dedicated to the establishment of effective science programs for all students. The Smithsonian Science Education Center works to build awareness for PreK-12 science education reform among global, state, and district leaders; conducts programs that support the professional growth of PreK-12 teachers and school leaders; and engages in research and curriculum development in partnership with it is publisher, Carolina Biological Supply Company, the sole source provider of STC™, STCMS™, and Smithsonian Science for the Classroom™.

Carolina Biological Supply Company: From its beginnings in 1927, Carolina ( 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.