Kit Descriptions

Science Kit Descriptions
The descriptions and titles below reflect the adoption of BBS kits for grades K-2. These titles are what is available beginning for the 2018/2019 school year.


  • Living Things and Their Needs (K)
    Starting with what kindergartners know about living and non-living things, they explore the needs of living things through pumpkin seed germination and plant growth. They alsodesign investigations to determine which habitat Bess bugs prefer. Students make firsthand observations of how living things can change their environment to meet their needs. By the end of the unit, they apply what they’ve learned about needs to design solutions to reduce human impact on the environment.
  • Weather & Sky (K)
    Students develop a solid foundation for understanding weather and its impact on their daily life. Students observe the sky and weather daily, and predict, observe, compare, and contrast their observations to identify and discuss patterns. Students explore temperature, wind, precipitation, and cloud cover using charts, models, and measurement tools. Students use what they learn to formulate their own definitions of and explanations for weather-related phenomena. Students look at severe-weather safety, specifically related to tornadoes and floods. The unit culminates with an independent weather-observation project and weather report.
  • Push, Pull, Go (K)
    Students will discover the patterns of how objects move. Young scientists use foam balls, dominoes, spinning tops, and Kid K’NEX® to build action toys that move. After exploring systems including swings, slides, and tumbling dominoes, pairs are challenged to design and build a contraption that “works.” Each science toy that students build moves in a different but predictable pattern. As a result, students build a grade-level-appropriate concept of systems and an understanding of moving objects.

1st Grade

  • Exploring Organisms (1)
    Exploring Organismsintroduces students to the importance of structure and function in plants and animals and the ties that exist between parents and their offspring. Students actively investigate the difference between living and nonliving things, the needs that all of life depends upon, the structures that organisms have to help them obtain these needs, the parental roles that exist in the animal kingdom, and the similarities and variations that exist between parents and their offspring. Throughout the unit, students tie in the basic concepts of structure and function that help different species survive. Students also begin to observe patterns that exists between parents and their offspring, starting with the forms of communication and types of parental care that exists between many animals. Students then begin to observe the pattern that offspring look similar, but not identical, to their parents, by looking at themselves and their own relatives. By the end of the unit, students understand that variations exist between the parents and offspring of all members of the plant and animal kingdoms. The unit culminates with an engineering activity in which small groups work together to apply what they know about structure and function to design a solution to a real-life problem that exists for human parents in the care of their offspring.
  • Sky Watchers (1)
    Students directly observe the Sun, Earth, Moon, and solar system. Students describe the differences between the daytime and nighttime skies, then use models and demonstrations to investigate Earth’s rotation on its axis, its revolution around the Sun, and its tilt relative to the Sun. They experiment to explore the effects of the Sun’s light and heat on Earth, trace the path of a shadow, and compare temperatures in sunlight and shade. Students study the Moon and identify the monthly pattern of its phases. Finally, they synthesize information about the planets and their relative size to construct their own solar system models..
  • Light & Sound Waves (1)
    Students explore the physical science concepts of light and sound waves, and investigate to find that both phenomena travel in waves. Students use flashlights to collect evidence of how light travels and how it interacts with different materials as they manipulate the path of light and experiment with several materials. Students investigate sound and how it travels. By creating different sounds and examining how the sound is produced, students trace the wave from the point at which it is created to the ear.

2nd Grade

  • Ecosystem Diversity (2)
    Students categorize a variety of organisms based on their unique characteristics and structures. They compare the diverse habitats of different species and consider their basic needs. Students design habitats for organisms based on their observations and explorations.
  • Earth Materials (2)
    Students pairs describe and sort a set of rocks and minerals, and then explore and discuss particle size as they investigate the properties of sand and soil. Throughout the unit, students ask questions, make predictions, and build age-appropriate understandings of earth materials. Students identify landforms and bodies of water, then apply that knowledge to build a model island that features these characteristic landforms and bodies of water.
  • Matter (2)
    Students investigate the states of matter. They explore firsthand that solids and liquids may have different states based on their temperatures, and that changes may happen when they are heated or cooled. Students investigate different ways of separating mixtures in different states of matter.

3rd Grade

  • Forces and Interactions
    What makes a toy car go? What makes it stop? This unit looks at forces, with an emphasis on friction, mass and magnetism. It concludes by asking students to complete a design task: a model to sort out scrap metal from trash, a magnetic door latch, a magnet-based device to keep two moving objects from touching each other, or a “magic trick” to make a paper clip float in the air.
  • Life in Ecosystems
    Watch imaginations take flight as students explore ecosystems and how plants and animals adapt. Expanding on what they know about what living things need to survive, students learn about healthy ecosystems with butterfly larva and Wisconsin Fast Plants. They start to look at inheritance and traits as well as adaptation, creating models of different types of beaks to determine what kind of food sources work best for different birds. Fossils reveal how organisms change over time as the environment changed. By the end of the unit, they apply science concepts to design a new animal.
  • Weather and Climate Patterns
    This weather unit takes full advantage of the intersection of science, literacy, and math. Students calculate average temperatures and measure rainfall, temperature and wind — then create and present a local news weather forecast. They also research natural weather hazards. By the end of the unit, students formulate a plan to reduce the impact of a weather hazard and design a solution.

4th Grade

  • Energy Works!
    Focusing on themselves, students review different kinds of energy and how it’s converted in a system: energy their bodies produce, potential and kinetic energy, the motion of waves, plus alternative forms of energy. They engineer a waterwheel, then a wind turbine. By the end of the unit, they can pose a question they’ve wondered about and engineer a device to answer it.
  • Plant and Animal Structures
    Nothing grabs student interest like dissection, and it’s a great way to learn about structures. This unit begins by expanding what students know about plant and animal structures and how they help organisms survive. They will experience up-close study of the internal and external structures of plants and animals by dissecting seeds and plants, a preserved squid, a sheep brain, and a cow eye. Then they’ll apply this knowledge, creating a model of the eye and explaining the path light takes as the brain helps us see the world.
  • Changing Earth
    Building on students’ knowledge of soil and erosion, this unit introduces how the distinctive features of the earth came to be. The layers of the earth, tectonic plates and the rock cycle add to student understanding of erosion and the systems that make up earth. Stream tables are taken to next level as students create their own maps of their river systems. Where did all that eroded sediment go? Students also build their own sedimentary rock as they learn how deltas form and grow.

5th Grade

  • Structure and Properties of Matter
    Start laying the groundwork for middle school chemistry with this unit that builds on student understanding of the properties of matter, changes of state, physical and chemical changes, and conservation of matter. By the end of the unit, students apply what they’ve learned to a real world engineering project. They devise a water purification system — a great application of chemistry to a timely problem!
  • Matter and Energy in Ecosystems
    Students begin by focusing on the interdependence of living and nonliving things in an ecosystem. They make a sun oven to follow the energy transfer of the sun’s energy as it heats up a marshmallow. Then students dissect an owl pellet to see what organisms are consumed for energy at the top of the food chain. They also cultivate a worm tank to see what decomposers do for an ecosystem. By the end of the unit, students analyze the cause and effects of agriculture, fossil fuels, technology, and factories on ecosystems.
  • Earth and Space Systems
    This study of the universe and sun-earth-moon systems naturally integrates math and literacy into hands-on science lessons. Students design scale models, then gather data and express it in bar graphs and circle graphs. As they study water, they calculate the ratio of salt to fresh water on earth. Literacy comes in as students research and report on how systems on earth interact with systems in space.

6th -8th Grade Middle School

  • Diversity of Life (6) - Life Science
    FOSS-Students observe and maintain protists, plants, and animals in the classroom and study their characteristic features. The study progresses from macroscopic to microscopic observation to discover the fundamental unit of life, the cell. Students then investigate organism subsystems and behaviors the consider their adaptive advantages for reproduction and survival.
    Lab Requirements:Must have microscopes with 4x, 10x and 40x optics and Electronic balances. Extra classroom sets are essential with this unit. Requires groceries to be purchased.
  • Light(6) - Physical Science
    STC- Students progress through a series of carefully sequenced activities that introduce the behavior of light, its properties, and many uses. Lessons are divided into three sections: The Nature of Light, Reflection and Refraction, and Using Light.
    Lab Requirements:Access to several electrical outlets. Classroom sets provide needed tubes and consumables for each additional class taught.
  • Planetary Science version 2 (6) - Earth Science
    Planetary Science (6) - Earth Science

    FOSS -Students study the Earth as a celestial object before progressing to lunar science and lunar exploration, and then on to the Solar System. Activities explore the origin of the Moon, celestial motions, Moon phases, lunar geology, cratering processes, imaging technologies, scaling, and space exploration.
    Lab Requirements:Balances and mass sets needed. Some groceries must be purchased.
  • Understanding Weather & Climate (7) - Earth Science
    STC (formerly Catastrophic Events)- The module begins with students using a globe to assess geological and atmospheric patterns related to storms, earthquakes, volcanoes, and other catastrophic events. The three parts of the module then build on this initial activity. Lessons are divided into three sections: Storms, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes.
    Lab Requirements:Need computer and projector for CD-ROM images. Access to ice and electrical outlets. Will need to collect 2 ltr bottles and purchase some groceries.
  • Experimenting with Forces & Motion (7) - Physical Science
    STC (formerly Energy, Machines & Motion)- During the module students construct a variety of machines as they explore both physical science and technological design concepts. Energy; investigating how forces transform energy. Machines; conduct inquiries to learn how simple machines work. Motion; explore the motion of three student-built vehicles.
    Lab Requirements:Balance, hammer and access to several electrical outlets. Additional classroom sets are essential if teaching more than one class of science. Many parts and pieces (KNEX building blocks).
  • Human Body Systems (7) - Life Science
    STC- Middle school students have a natural curiosity about their bodies and how they work. This module taps that curiosity and helps students extend their knowledge through a series of lessons divided into three sections: Digestive System, Respiratory and Circulatory Systems, and Musculoskeletal System.
    Lab Requirements:Access to sink and fan (light walnuts and marshmallows on fire). Classroom sets provide consumables for each additional class taught. Some groceries to be purchased.
  • Earth History (8) - Earth Science
    FOSS -Students investigate rocks and fossils from the Grand Canyon to discover clues that reveal Earth's history. They study the processes that created the rocks. Students then use the knowledge and data from rock observations to make inferences about organisms, environments, and events that occurred over Earth's history.
    Lab Requirements:Some groceries and supplies must be purchased.
  • Populations and Ecosystems (8) - Life Science
    FOSS- Students raise populations of organisms to discover population dynamics in a range of conditions from ideal to extreme. Populations (producers and consumers) are put together to discover balance. Concepts: predator/prey, food chain, consumer, producer, population, interdependence, ecosystem.
    Lab Requirements:Many organisms are provided with this unit, have your habitats ready. Need room (flat surfaces) to setup and observe mini-ecosystems. Some groceries to be purchased.
  • Experimenting with Mixtures, Compounds & Elements (8) - Physical Science
    STC (formerly Properties of Matter)- This module offers a series of carefully sequenced inquiries to develop students' understanding about what matter is, what its properties are, and how it behaves. Three part module: Characteristic Properties of Matter, Mixtures and Solutions, and Compounds, Elements and Chemical Reactions.
    Lab Requirements:Burners & burner stands (either alcohol or gas) are required!Many chemicals are used in this unit. Goggles and access to sink are essential


Erik Wolfrum, Director
(509) 789-3551,

Beth Worthy,Program Assistant
(509) 789-3525,