Science Instructional Materials

Carolina Biological Launching Certified OpenSciEd Middle School Units and CTE

Redesigned Kits, Print and Digital Resources Mean Less Cost, Reduced Teacher Prep, Better Accessibility, Company Says

Carolina Biological, a supplier of instructional materials for science classes, on Tuesday unveiled new “certified” print and digital versions of OpenSciEd science instructional units for grades 6–8, including complete lab kits and flexible purchase options for schools, the company said in a news release.

For the new science units, Carolina Biological partnered with the nonprofit OpenSciEd, founded in 2018 to develop modern, research-backed instructional materials and professional learning that supports equitable science education. The OpenSciEd content is based on a storyline approach: a logical sequence of lessons motivated by typical student questions arising from their interactions with phenomena within the natural world.

“OpenSciEd’s mission is to give teachers the materials, support, and power to get kids excited and curious about the world around them and confident in their ability to figure it out through questioning, investigating, and solving problems,” Carolina Biological said in its announcement.

The company said it redesigned OpenSciEd instructional materials achieving the following goals:

  • Made them easier for teachers to follow with a consistent design and lesson flow.
  • Simplified investigations to reduce teacher prep and classroom instructional time.
  • Used fewer and less expensive materials to make the kits cost-effective.
  • Tested lessons and materials ensure the safety, quality, and accuracy of investigations.
  • Made the instructional materials fully ADA-compliant to better support equity in learning.
  • Create new digital resources to better engage students, support teachers, and provide reporting to administrators.

The new units will be available for purchase through Carolina Biological for the 2022-23 school year, the company said.

Carolina Biological said it plans to offer both comprehensive and flexible purchase options for the OpenSciEd units; lab materials and equipment, for example, will be available as complete kits, as refurbishment materials, and as individual components. The company will offer printed teacher resources and student editions, and “instructional resources will also be available digitally, including videos and simulations, accessible in one place with assignable content to students and reporting for teachers and administrators.”

Certified Professional Learning courses for OpenSciEd programs also will be offered, Carolina Biological said.

The Carolina Certified Version of OpenSciEd units are designed to address all the Next Generation Science Standards’ middle school achievement expectations and three-dimensional learning, according to the news release.

“All of the OpenSciEd units were reviewed by the NextGenScience peer review panel at WestEd using the rigorous EQuIP rubric,” Carolina Biological said. “All of the units have been identified as Quality Examples of Science Lessons and Units and most units have received the exclusive stamp of Next Generation Science Standards excellence, the NGSS Design Badge.”

The units are undergoing trials in select middle schools this year, including in Yakima, Wash., where administrators reported positive results.

“As an OpenSciEd partner, our Regional Science Coordinators at the Educational Service Districts in Washington have been supporting teachers throughout the state with the new middle school science units,” said Luke Matlack of ESD 105 in Yakima. “The feedback thus far has been great! I am excited to see the improvements that Carolina has made to support classroom implementation.”

Learn more by visiting Carolina’s website or call (800) 334-5551.

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].