STEM

Science Supplier Launches High School Flex Kits

School science supplier Carolina Biological has introduced a new line of products intended to help teachers deliver science instruction whether the students are in the classroom or learning from home. The Carolina Kits 3D Flex cover a year of high school biology or chemistry and include all of the digital and physical components for the lessons.

Components in the kits include safety googles, plasticware and home-safe chemicals for performing science experiments. The kits also provide access to 120 digital elements, such as instructional videos and online labs. Those resources are also available in an all-digital "Flex Lite" version. The program is designed for both synchronous and asynchronous learning.

The biology program has 16 experiments covering four areas: molecules to organisms, ecosystems, heredity, and biological evolution. The chemistry program contains 17 investigations in four areas: structure and property of matter, chemical and nuclear reactions, reaction rates and equilibrium, and energy in chemical processes. Both programs have correlations to major textbooks.

The hands-on activities include wet labs plus manipulative activities. Students directly observe phenomena and are guided through the process of using evidence and prior knowledge to make sense of it. According to the company, the digital student investigations give learners opportunities to collect data, make observations and do sense-making for experiments after watching videos of labs that are difficult to conduct remotely. These videos offer multiple trials and experimental variables that require students to collaborate remotely as part of enhancing and deepening understanding.

Teachers get lesson plans, background materials and student worksheets. The teachers control the digital resources, for example, by providing commentary, and assign them as the lesson plan suggests or as the student progresses.

Prices for either program start at $125 per student. The Flex Lite version is available for teachers under a licensing agreement per student and teacher.

"When safety was an issue or expensive lab equipment was required, we switched from a traditional hands-on, wet lab to a teacher-led digital demonstration or digital student investigation," said Mark Meszaros, vice president of core product management and innovation, in a press release. "The digital demonstrations and investigations contain multiple high-quality, close-up videos of actual demonstrations or hands-on labs. Some labs contain both a hands-on portion and a digital portion for a true blended-learning experience. In all labs, students must make their own observations and begin the process of sense-making at their own pace."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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