Science Kits: K-5 Grade

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

Kindergarten

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.

North Carolina State Standards

K.L.1 Compare characteristics of animals that make them alike and different from other animals and nonliving things.

  • K.L.1.1 Compare different types of the same animal (i.e. different types of dogs, different types of cats, etc.) to determine individual differences within a particular type of animal. (WITH MODIFICATION)
  • K.L.1.2 Compare characteristics of living and nonliving things in terms of their: • Structure  Growth • Changes • Movement • Basic needs

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.

North Carolina State Standards

K.E.1 Understand change and observable patterns of weather that occur from day to day and throughout the year.

  • K.E.1.1 Infer that change is something that happens to many things in the environment based on observations made using one or more of their senses. 
  • K.E.1.2 Summarize daily weather conditions noting changes that occur from day to day and throughout the year. 
  • K.E.1.3 Compare weather patterns that occur from season to season.

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.

North Carolina State Standards

K.P.2 Understand how objects are described based on their physical properties and how they are used.

  • K.P.2.1 Classify objects by observable physical properties (including size, color, shape, texture, weight and flexibility).
  • K.P.2.2 Compare the observable physical properties of different kinds of materials (clay, wood, cloth, paper, etc) from which objects are made and how they are used.

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

North Carolina State Standards

K.P.1 Understand the positions and motions of objects and organisms observed in the environment.

  • K.P.1.2 Give examples of different ways objects and organisms move (to include falling to the ground when dropped ): Straight  Zigzag • Round and round • back and forth • Fast and slow

1.P.1 Understand how forces (pushes or pulls) affect the motion of an object.

  • 1.P.1.1 Explain the importance of a push or pull to changing the motion of an object. 
  • 1.P.1.3 Predict the effect of a given force on the motion of an object, including balanced forces.

“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

North Carolina State Standards

1.L.1 Understand characteristics of various environments and behaviors of humans that enable plants and animals to survive.

  • 1.L.1.1 Recognize that plants and animals need air, water, light (plants only), space, food and shelter and that these may be found in their environment. 
  • 1.L.1.2 Give examples of how the needs of different plants and animals can be met by their environments in North Carolina or different places throughout the world. (WITH MODIFICATION)
  • 1.L.1.3 Summarize ways that humans protect their environment and/or improve conditions for the growth of the plants and animals that live there (e.g., reuse or recycle products to avoid littering).(WITH MODIFICATION)

1.L.2 Summarize the needs of living organisms for energy and growth.

  • 1.L.2.1 Summarize the basic needs of a variety of different plants (including air, water, nutrients, and light) for energy and growth. 
  • 1.L.2.2 Summarize the basic needs of a variety of different animals (including air, water, and food) for energy and growth.

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

North Carolina State Standards

1.E.2 Understand the physical properties of Earth materials that make them useful in different ways.

  • 1.E.2.1 Summarize the physical properties of earth materials, including rocks, minerals, soils and water that make them useful in different ways. 
  • 1.E.2.2 Compare the properties of soil samples from different places relating their capacity to retain water, nourish and support the growth of certain plants.

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

North Carolina State Standards

2.E.1 Understand patterns of weather and factors that affect weather.

  • 2.E.1.1 Summarize how energy from the sun serves as a source of light that warms the land, air and water. 
  • 2.E.1.2 Summarize weather conditions using qualitative and quantitative measures to describe: • Temperature • Wind direction • Wind speed • Precipitation 
  • 2.E.1.3 Compare weather patterns that occur over time and relate observable patterns to time of day and time of year. 
  • 2.E.1.4 Recognize the tools that scientists use for observing, recording, and predicting weather changes from day to day and during the seasons.

3.P.2 Understand the structure and properties of matter before and after they undergo a change.

  • 3.P.2.1 Recognize that air is a substance that surrounds us, takes up space and has mass.

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

North Carolina State Standards

2.P.2 Understand properties of solids and liquids and the changes they undergo.

  • 2.P.2.1 Give examples of matter that change from a solid to a liquid and from a liquid to a solid by heating and cooling.
  • 2.P.2.2 Compare the amount (volume and weight) of water in a container before and after freezing. (WITH MODIFICATION)
  • 2.P.2.3 Compare what happens to water left in an open container over time as to water left in a closed container.

3.P.2 Understand the structure and properties of matter before and after they undergo a change.

  • 3.P.2.2 Compare solids, liquids, and gases based on their basic properties.

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

North Carolina State Standards

2.L.1 Understand animal life cycles.

  • 2.L.1.1 Summarize the life cycle of animals: • Birth • Developing into an adult • Reproducing • Aging and death 
  • 2.L.1.2 Compare life cycles of different animals such as, but not limited to, mealworms, ladybugs, crickets, guppies or frogs. (WITH MODIFICATION)

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

North Carolina State Standards

2.P.1 Understand the relationship between sound and vibrating objects.

  • 2.P.1.1 Illustrate how sound is produced by vibrating objects and columns of air. 
  • 2.P.1.2 Summarize the relationship between sound and objects of the body that vibrate – eardrum and vocal cords.

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

North Carolina State Standards

3.L.1 Understand human body systems and how they are essential for life: protection, movement and support.

  • 3.L.1.1 Compare the different functions of the skeletal and muscular system. 
  • 3.L.1.2 Explain why skin is necessary for protection and for the body to remain healthy. (WITH MODIFICATION)

5.L.1 Understand how structures and systems of organisms (to include the human body) perform functions necessary for life.

  • 5.L.1.2 Compare the major systems of the human body (digestive, respiratory, circulatory, muscular, skeletal, and cardiovascular) in terms of their functions necessary for life.

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

North Carolina State Standards

1.E.1 Recognize the features and patterns of the earth/moon/sun system as observed from Earth.

  • 1.E.1.1 Recognize differences in the features of the day and night sky and apparent movement of objects across the sky as observed from Earth. 
  • 1.E.1.2 Recognize patterns of observable changes in the Moon’s appearance from day to day.

3.E.1 Recognize the major components and patterns observed in the earth/moon/sun system.

  • 3.E.1.1 Recognize that the earth is part of a system called the solar system that includes the sun (a star), planets, and many moons and the earth is the third planet from the sun in our solar system. 
  • 3.E.1.2 Recognize that changes in the length and direction of an object’s shadow indicate the apparent changing position of the Sun during the day although the patterns of the stars in the sky, to include the Sun, stay the same.

4.E.1 Explain the causes of day and night and phases of the moon.

  • 4.E.1.1 Explain the cause of day and night based on the rotation of Earth on its axis. 
  • 4.E.1.2 Explain the monthly changes in the appearance of the moon, based on the moon’s orbit around the Earth.

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

North Carolina State Standards

3.L.2 Understand how plants survive in their environments.

  • 3.L.2.1 Remember the function of the following structures as it relates to the survival of plants in their environments: • Roots – absorb nutrients • Stems – provide support • Leaves – synthesize food • Flowers – attract pollinators and produce seeds for reproduction 
  • 3.L.2.2 Explain how environmental conditions determine how well plants survive and grow. (WITH MODIFICATION)
  • 3.L.2.3 Summarize the distinct stages of the life cycle of seed plants.

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

North Carolina State Standards

3.L.2 Understand how plants survive in their environments.

  • 3.L.2.4 Explain how the basic properties (texture and capacity to hold water) and components (sand, clay and humus) of soil determine the ability of soil to support the growth and survival of many plants.

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

North Carolina State Standards

4.L.1 Understand the effects of environmental changes, adaptations and behaviors that enable animals (including humans) to survive in changing habitats.

  • 4.L.1.1 Give examples of changes in an organism’s environment that are beneficial to it and some that are harmful.
  • 4.L.1.2 Explain how animals meet their needs by using behaviors in response to information received from the environment. 
  • 4.L.1.3 Explain how humans can adapt their behavior to live in changing habitats (e.g., recycling wastes, establishing rain gardens, planting trees and shrubs to prevent flooding and erosion).
  •  4.L.1.4 Explain how differences among animals of the same population sometimes give individuals an advantage in surviving and reproducing in changing habitats. (WITH MODIFICATION)

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

North Carolina State Standards

4.L.2 Understand food and the benefits of vitamins, minerals and exercise.

  • 4.L.2.1 Classify substances as food or non-food items based on their ability to provide energy and materials for survival, growth and repair of the body. 
  • 4.L.2.2 Explain the role of vitamins, minerals and exercise in maintaining a healthy body.

Teacher Resources

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

Publisher: CIBL (Center for Inquiry-Based Learning)

North Carolina State Standards

4.P.1 Explain how various forces affect the motion of an object.

  • 4.P.1.1 Explain how magnets interact with all things made of iron and with other magnets to produce motion without touching them. 
  • 4.P.1.2 Explain how electrically charged objects push or pull on other electrically charged objects and produce motion.

4.P.2 Understand the composition and properties of matter before and after they undergo a change or interaction.

  • 4.P.2.1 Compare the physical properties of samples of matter (strength, hardness, flexibility, ability to conduct heat, ability to conduct electricity, ability to be attracted by magnets, reactions to water and fire).

4.P.3 Recognize that energy takes various forms that may be grouped based on their interaction with matter.

  • 4.P.3.1 Recognize the basic forms of energy (light, sound, heat, electrical, and magnetic) as the ability to cause motion or create change. 
  • 4.P.3.2 Recognize that light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object or travels from one medium to another, and that light can be reflected, refracted, and absorbed.

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

North Carolina State Standards

4.P.2 Understand the composition and properties of matter before and after they undergo a change or interaction.

  • 4.P.2.2 Explain how minerals are identified using tests for the physical properties of hardness, color, luster, cleavage and streak. 
  • 4.P.2.3 Classify rocks as metamorphic, sedimentary or igneous based on their composition, how they are formed and the processes that create them.

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.

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

North Carolina State Standards

5.L.2 Understand the interdependence of plants and animals with their ecosystem.

  • 5.L.2.1 Compare the characteristics of several common ecosystems, including estuaries and salt marshes, oceans, lakes and ponds, forests, and grasslands. 
  • 5.L.2.2 Classify the organisms within an ecosystem according to the function they serve: producers, consumers, or decomposers (biotic factors). 
  • 5.L.2.3 Infer the effects that may result from the interconnected relationship of plants and animals to their ecosystem.

Teacher Resources

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.

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

North Carolina State Standards

5.E.1 Understand weather patterns and phenomena, making connections to the weather in a particular place and time.

  • 5.E.1.1 Compare daily and seasonal changes in weather conditions (including wind speed and direction, precipitation, and temperature) and patterns. 
  • 5.E.1.2 Predict upcoming weather events from weather data collected through observation and measurements.
  • 5.E.1.3 Explain how global patterns such as the jet stream and water currents influence local weather in measurable terms such as temperature, wind direction and speed, and precipitation.

5.P.2 Understand the interactions of matter and energy and the changes that occur.

  • 5.P.2.1 Explain how the sun’s energy impacts the processes of the water cycle (including evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation and runoff).

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

Publisher: CIBL (Center for Inquiry-Based Learning)

North Carolina State Standards

5.P.2 Understand the interactions of matter and energy and the changes that occur.

  • 5.P.2.2 Compare the weight of an object to the sum of the weight of its parts before and after an interaction. 
  • 5.P.2.3 Summarize properties of original materials, and the new material(s) formed, to demonstrate that a change has occurred

5.P.3 Explain how the properties of some materials change as a result of heating and cooling.

  • 5.P.3.1 Explain the effects of the transfer of heat (either by direct contact or at a distance) that occurs between objects at different temperatures. (conduction, convection or radiation) 
  • 5.P.3.2 Explain how heating and cooling affect some materials and how this relates to their purpose and practical applications.

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.

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

North Carolina State Standards

3.P.1 Understand motion and factors that affect motion.

  • 3.P.1.1 Infer changes in speed or direction resulting from forces acting on an object. 
  • 3.P.1.2 Compare the relative speeds (faster or slower) of objects that travel the same distance in different amounts of time. 
  • 3.P.1.3 Explain the effects of earth’s gravity on the motion of any object on or near the earth.

5.P.1 Understand force, motion and the relationship between them.

  • 5.P.1.1 Explain how factors such as gravity, friction, and change in mass affect the motion of objects. 
  • 5.P.1.2 Infer the motion of objects in terms of how far they travel in a certain amount of time and the direction in which they travel. 
  • 5.P.1.3 Illustrate the motion of an object using a graph to show a change in position over a period of time.
  •  5.P.1.4 Predict the effect of a given force or a change in mass on the motion of an object.