Science Kits: K-5 Grade

For more information on kit descriptions, simply click on the Kit Name.

 

Kindergarden

Students learn about ant anatomy and behavior by observing these creatures in nature and in an ant farm. They play different ant roles like following a scent trail and dragging food through a tunnel-like structure. They assemble a large ant nest poster in stages to highlight tunnels, food, social structure, and life cycle.

Publisher: Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS), Carolina Biological Supply Company.

Students explore the concepts that underlie the science skills of comparing and measuring. The lessons are based on a developmental sequence that includes three activities: comparing, matching, and measuring.

  • Students compare lengths by matching measuring tape to their own heights and the lengths of their arms and legs.
  • They make the transition from matching to measuring length by quantifying nonstandard units of measure.
  • Finally, students use standard units of measure, such as Unifix Cubes™ and measuring strips, to measure height, width, and distance.

Through these activities, students begin to understand key measuring concepts, such as using beginning and ending points, a common starting line, and standard units of measure.

Publisher: STC (Science and Technology for Children), Carolina Biological Supply Company.

Why does it rain? Where does the water come from? Can I walk on clouds?

These are just a few of the hundreds of questions students have about weather. With the exciting hands-on activities in this unit, students have the opportunity to explore various weather features first-hand and discover how weather affects their lives. Along the way they will develop skills such as record-keeping, data analysis, reading a thermometer, and more.

Publisher: STC (Science and Technology for Children), Carolina Biological Supply Company.

Students are introduced to a wide variety of woods and papers in a systematic way. They observe their properties and discover what happens when they are subjected to a number of tests and interactions with other materials. Students learn that wood and paper can be recycled to create new forms of paper or wood. They change wood and paper into a variety of products.

Publisher: FOSS (Full Option Science System), Delta Education.

1st Grade

We live in a dynamic world where everything is in motion, or so it seems. But not everything is moving the same way. Some things move from one place to another. Other things go around and around in a rotational motion. Still other things are stationary, stable for a time, balanced on a thin line between stop and go. These are the global phenomena that students experience in this module.

Publisher: FOSS (Full Option Science System), Delta Education

“Organisms” provides hands-on experiences that help students develop an understanding of and sensitivity to living things. Students create and maintain a woodland habitat containing pine seedlings, moss, pill bugs, and Bess beetles or millipedes. They also set up and observe a freshwater habitat into which they introduce Elodea and Cabomba plants, pond snails, and guppies. With both plants and animals in each habitat, students have the opportunity to observe how these organisms coexist. Through studying the needs and characteristics of a variety of organisms, the students are able to draw conclusions about how plants and animals are similar and different. Students apply what they have learned about organisms to humans by exploring how humans are similar to and different from other living things.

Publisher: STC (Science and Technology for Children), Carolina Biological Supply Company

The Pebbles, Sand, and Silt module consists of four sequential investigations, each designed to introduce concepts in earth science. The investigations provide experiences that heighten students’ awareness of rocks as earth materials and natural resources. They will come to know rocks by many names and in a variety of sizes. Pebbles and sand are the same material—just different in size. Students are expected to:

  • Develop a curiosity and interest in the physical world around them.
  • Observe, describe, and sort earth materials based on properties.
  • Separate earth materials by size, using different techniques.
  • Observe the similarities and differences in the materials in a river rock mixture: silt, sand, gravel, and small and large pebbles.
  • Explore places where earth materials are found and ways earth materials are used.
  • Compare the ingredients in different soils.
  • Organize and communicate observations through drawing and writing.
  • Acquire the vocabulary associated with earth materials.

Publisher: FOSS (Full Option Science System), Delta Education

The Solids and Liquids module provides experiences that heighten students’ awareness of the physical world. Matter with which we interact exists in three fundamental states: solid, liquid, and gas. In this module first and second graders have introductory experiences with two of these states of matter, solid and liquid. STC expects students to:

  • Develop curiosity and interest in the objects that make up their world.
  • Investigate materials constructively during free exploration and in a guided discovery mode.
  • Recognize differences between solids and liquids.
  • Explore a number of liquids.
  • Observe and describe the properties of solids and liquids.
  • Sort materials according to properties.
  • Combine and separate solids of different particle sizes.
  • Observe and describe what happens when solids are mixed with water.
  • Observe and describe what happens when other liquids are mixed with water.
  • Use information gathered to conduct an investigation on an unknown material.
  • Acquire the vocabulary associated with the properties of solids and liquids.
  • Use written and oral language to describe observations

Publisher: STC (Science and Technology for Children), NSRC

2nd Grade

The Air and Weather module consists of four sequential investigations, each designed to introduce concepts in earth science. The investigations provide opportunities for young students to explore the natural world by using simple tools to observe and monitor change. Students are expected to:

  • Develop an interest in air and weather.
  • Experience air as a material that takes up space and can be compressed into a smaller space.
  • Observe the force of air pressure pushing on objects and materials.
  • Observe and compare how moving air interacts with objects.
  • Observe and describe changes that occur in weather over time.
  • Become familiar with instruments used by meteorologists to monitor air and weather conditions.
  • Compare monthly and seasonal weather conditions using bar graphs.
  • Observe the location of the Sun and the Moon in the sky over a day and the change in the appearance of the Moon over a month.
  • Organize and communicate observations through drawing and writing.
  • Acquire vocabulary associated with properties of air and weather conditions.

Publisher: FOSS (Full Option Science System), Delta Education

Beginning investigations of physical science, chemistry and commonplace physical changes all around us. Students test, observe, and make records of properties, then develop critical thinking skills by sorting and classifying based on these properties. Changes include changes of state and various chemical changes.

Publisher: STC (Science and Technology for Children), Carolina Biological Supply Company

This unit introduces the concept of life cycles through an investigation of the Painted Lady butterfly. Students observe, record, and describe the metamorphosis from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. The butterfly ultimately dies a natural death, completing students’ observations of the life cycle.

Publisher: STC (Science and Technology for Children), Carolina Biological Supply Company

Students use tuning forks, slide whistles, strings, and other sound-producing objects to investigate the characteristics of sound. Students learn that sound is caused by vibrations, and they explore how sound travels. They learn about the relationship of pitch and volume to the frequency and amplitude of vibrations. They discover, for example, that they can alter pitch by varying the length or tension of a string. Constructing simple stringed instruments, they discover how they can increase the volume of the sound produced by the strings. Students investigate the characteristics of another common sound-producing mechanism–the human vocal cords–and build model vocal cords. They also learn about the anatomy and functioning of the human ear. They apply what they learn in the unit by designing and building musical instruments or other sound-producing devices.

Publisher: STC (Science and Technology for Children), Carolina Biological Supply Company

3rd Grade

Engage students in thoughtful activities about the form and function of a most remarkable machine, their own bodies. Students build mechanical models to demonstrate how muscles power human movement and develop an appreciation for the design and coordination of the human body.

Publisher: FOSS (Full Option Science System), Delta Education

Students explore and describe the position, appearance, and motion (or apparent motion) of objects in the sky, specifically the Moon, the Sun, and the stars. They use their shadows to determine the changing position of the Sun in the daytime sky and use direct observations to describe the changing position of the Moon during the day and at night and of the stars in the nighttime sky. Students also observe that the Moon appears to change its shape every day in a repeating pattern that takes approximately one month.

Publisher: TRACS (Teaching Relevant Activities for Concepts & Skills), BSCS

Students observe each stage in the life cycle of a simple plant. Students plant seeds and watch the seedlings emerge. They thin and transplant seedlings. As they watch plants grow, students learn that plants need nutrients from the soil, as well as water and light, to thrive. To explore the interdependence of living things, students pollinate the flowers with dried honeybees. Finally, they harvest mature seeds and determine seed yields.

Publisher: STC (Science and Technology for Children), Carolina Biological Supply Company

Examinations of properties of different soil components. Students characterize the various soil components, then use this information to identify mystery soils and analyze characteristics of their local soils.

Publisher: STC (Science and Technology for Children), Carolina Biological Supply Company

4th Grade

By caring for and observing three animals from different habitats—the dwarf African frog, the fiddler crab, and the millipede—students learn about what animals need to survive, the primary parts of their anatomical structure, and the ways in which they are suited for life in a particular environment. Students create and maintain individual logs in which they record their observations of each animal over time. These observations focus on animal behavior, including methods for food getting, movement, and protection. Toward the end of the unit, students apply what they have learned about structure, habitat, survival needs, and behavior to study a fourth classroom animal: the human. They also conduct an animal research project and decide how they will present their findings to the class.

Publisher: STC (Science and Technology for Children), Carolina Biological Supply Company

Students explore basic concepts related to food and nutrition. They set up their own classroom laboratory and perform physical and chemical tests to identify the presence of starch, glucose, fats, and proteins in common foods. Some of the tests are relatively simple and produce “yes-or-no” results; others require multiple steps. Still other tests, such as the glucose test, produce results that require interpretation. Through readings, students discover how proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, as well as vitamins, are related to good health. They also learn how to interpret food labels. In a final challenge, students apply their knowledge and skills to analyze the nutritional components of a marshmallow.

Publisher: STC (Science and Technology for Children), Carolina Biological Supply Company

A complete 9-week unit encompassing three physical science standards. Students will experience lessons on magnets, electricity, properties of matter and light, and more.

North Carolina Essential Science Standards: Grade 4 Physical Science; 4.P.1.1, 4.P.1.2, 4.P.2.1, 4.P.3.1, 4.P.3.2

Publisher: CIBL (Center for Inquiry-Based Learning)

This unit consists of five sequential investigations, each designed to introduce or reinforce concepts in physical science. They explore the properties of permanent magnets–attraction, repulsion, and changes in force over distance. They identify materials that are conductors and insulators. They construct simple open, closed, parallel, and series circuits. They make and explore the properties of electromagnets.

Publisher: FOSS (Full Option Science System), Delta Education

Students explore the differences and similarities between rocks and minerals by investigating samples of these earth materials, performing a series of tests similar to geologists’ field tests, and reading about rocks and minerals and how they are used. The first lessons focus on rocks. The students then turn their attention to a set of 12 minerals and test them to identify properties such as streak color, luster, transparency, hardness, shape, and magnetism. After completing these observations, students compile them into their own “Minerals Field Guide.” In a culminating activity, they are challenged to apply their knowledge and skills to identify new minerals. They then report on how rocks and minerals are used.

Publisher: STC (Science and Technology for Children), Carolina Biological Supply Company

5th Grade

Students begin the unit by setting up a terrarium in which they grow grass, mustard, and alfalfa plants. They then add crickets and isopods. They also set up an aquarium into which they introduce snails, guppies, elodea, algae, and duckweed.

By connecting the terrarium and aquarium bottles to create an “ecocolumn,” students are able to observe the relationship between the two environments and the organisms living within them. Using test ecocolumns that contain only plants, students simulate the effects of pollutants—such as road salt, fertilizer, and acid rain—on an environment.

Students then use a food chain wheel to make inferences about the effects these pollutants might have on their own miniature ecosystems.

Later, students read about, explore, and discuss the Chesapeake Bay as a model ecosystem. They analyze this ecosystem from the viewpoint of various users—-waterman, dairy farmer, land developer, recreational boater, and resident—-and present their findings to the class. This activity enables students to appreciate the trade-offs that must be made to reach mutually acceptable solutions to environmental problems.

CIBL has developed three supplementary activities to explore the interdependence of plants and animals in an ecosystem.

North Carolina Essential Science Standards: Grade 5 Life Science; 5.L.2.1, 5.L.2.2, 5.L.2.3

Publisher: STC (Science and Technology for Children), Carolina Biological Supply Company

A variety of explorations of weather systems. Students discover the major factors that affect weather, including latitude, altitude, and proximity to bodies of water. They make physical models that illustrate the driving forces of weather. They keep records of weather changes outside their classroom and graph the resulting data.

CIBL developed three supplementary activities for students to observe and predict weather patterns.

North Carolina Essential Science Standards: Grade 5 Physical Science 5.P.2.1 and Earth Science 5.E.1.1, 5.E.1.2, 5.E.1.3

Publisher: TRACS (Teaching Relevant Activities for Concepts & Skills), BSCS

This unit consists of five investigations that introduce students to these fundamental concepts in earth science: change takes place when things interact; all things change over time; patterns of interaction and change are useful in explaining landforms. Students also learn about some of the tools and techniques used by cartographers and use them to depict landforms.

Publisher: FOSS (Full Option Science System), Delta Education

An entire 9-week unit devoted to physical science, including conservation of matter, the difference between mixtures and chemical change, heat transfer, and more.

North Carolina Essential Science Standards: Grade 5 Physical Science; 5.P.2.1, 5.P.2.2, 5.P.2.3, 5.P.3.1, 5.P.3.2

Publisher: CIBL (Center for Inquiry-Based Learning)

Investigations of motion of vehicles and challenges in technological design and engineering. Students create vehicles and use them to explore the effects of force, friction, and wind resistance on speed and distance. They graph data gathered about the motion of their vehicles under various forms of power. They are challenged to build their own vehicles to meet specifications such as distance traveled in a given time and cost.

Two supplementary activities expand on students’ understanding of motion and change in position over time.

North Carolina Essential Science Standards: Grade 5 Physical Science; 5.P.1.1, 5.P.1.2, 5.P.1.3, 5.P.1.4

Publisher: STC (Science and Technology for Children), Carolina Biological Supply Company