STEM Teaching Kit Library

A list of kits available for loan from the SD Discovery Center

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Station Kits K – 6

Build It! Festival*

Bubble Festival*

Grades PreK – 1

Animal Defenses

Eggs, Eggs Everywhere

Elephants and Their Young

Hide a Butterfly

Ladybugs

Mother Possum

Penguins & Their Young

Tree Homes

Grades K – 2

Sifting Through Science

Grades K – 3

Buzzing A Hive

Frog Math

Treasure Boxes

Grades K – 4

Farmers Grow My Plate

Group Solutions

Group Solutions Too

Grades K – 6

Animal Tracks

Incredible Journey

Investigating Artifacts

Terrarium Habitats

Grades 1 – 3

Involving Dissolving

Liquid Explorations

Matter: Solids, Liquids and Gases

Secret Formulas

Grades 2-3

Mystery Festival-Who Borrowed Mr. Bear

Grades 2 – 4

On Sandy Shores

Grades 2 – 6

Aquatic Habitats

Grades 3 – 5

Math on the Menu

Space Science Sequencing

Grades 3 – 6

Electric Circuits*

In All Probability

Schoolyard Ecology

Grades 4 – 8

Bubble-ology

Crime Lab Chemistry*

Earth, Moon & Stars

Environmental Detectives

Exploring Magnetism

Inventing to Learn

Life Through Time

Math Around the World*

Microscopic Explorations

Moons of Jupiter

Mystery Festival-The Felix Story

Ocean Currents

Oobleck: What Do Scientists Do?

QUADICE

Stories in Stone

Grades 5 – 8

Messages from Space

Only One Ocean

Grades 6 – 8

Invisible Universe

River Cutters

Space Science Curriculum Sequencing

Grades 7 +

Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect

Parent/Adult Learning

Parent Partners: Workshops to Foster School/Home/Family Partnerships

* We have multiples of these kits to loan out!

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Station Kits

Station kits are designed in a “festival” format with children rotating from station to station. The activities are adaptable to a wide range of ages. An asterisk means we have multiples of that kit.

Build It! Festival*

This unit’s wealth of learning-station activities help students make real-world connections as they focus on construction, geometric challenges, and spatial visualization.
Donor: Carolina Biological Supply

Bubble Festival*

These captivating, bubble-centric tabletop learning stations are packed with math and science content. The unit includes detailed teacher assistance and classroom logistics, writing and literature extensions, and tips for setting up an all school Bubble Festival.
Donor: Carolina Biological Supply and SD 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program.

 

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Grades PreK – 1

Animal Defenses

Beginning with an imaginary defenseless animal, this highly visual kit teaches children about defensive adaptation in the animal world. This kit offers excellent opportunity to introduce biological concepts of predator-prey.

Eggs, Eggs Everywhere

This unit introduces children to the amazing egg and then explores related life science concepts. In addition to observation and skills used in science, this kit uses role-playing, drama, and art to teach about the diversity of animals that come from eggs.

Elephants and Their Young

Elephants – their huge size, unique body structure, and fascinating social behavior – appeal to our sense of wonder. This kit draws on this interest to teach mathematical and physical science concepts including measurement, weight, volume and comparisons.

Ladybugs

Children learn about the ladybug’s anatomy, life cycle, behavior and favorite foods. Each child uses a magnifying “bug box” to observe live ladybugs. Math is an integral part of this unit, and role-playing is interwoven throughout the activities.

Mother Possum

Students learn the concepts of measurement as they measure themselves against a life-sized poster of an opossum. Natural science concepts are observed as children study the opossum’s paws and the development of opossum young.

Penguins & Their Young

This appealing guide addresses important math concepts and skills as children learn about the adaptations and habitat of the emperor penguin. With role-play, drama, and multisensory games, children integrate language learning with mathematics and the physical and life sciences.

Tree Homes

These activities focus on appreciation for trees and the animals that live in them, stimulating children’s interest in the natural world and emphasizing the biological need for warmth and shelter. Students use role-play to understand adaptation and deepen their math learning by sorting, classifying and measuring. Donor: Carolina Biological Supply

Hide a Butterfly

Students will learn the concepts of protective coloring as they identify parts of a butterfly and a flower. They will make a mural designed with butterflies, flowers and grass.

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Grades K – 2

Sifting Through Science

Young students explore buoyancy, magnetism, and the use of tools as they investigate the physical properties of objects. They use learning stations that allow for open-ended explorations to solve a design challenge. Each activity leads students to a greater knowledge of these properties. The final activity challenges students to solve an interesting problem: how to separate the various components of simulated garbage. To solve the problem, students must apply the knowledge gained in the previous activities. Donor: SD 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program.

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Grades K – 3

Buzzing A Hive

This guide explores the complex social behavior, communication, and hive environment of the honeybee through activities that mix art, literature, role-play, and drama. (Live bees are not a part of this unit.)

Frog Math

This series of lively activities jumps off from one of the well-known “Frog and Toad” stories, The Lost Button. The story leads to free exploration then sorting and classifying buttons. A Frog Pond board game helps students develop strategic thinking skills, and the Hop to the Pond game is an experiment in probability and statistics. Donor: SD 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program

Treasure Boxes

Most kids have a box or other container where they keep the small treasures of childhood safe from the prying eyes of siblings and inquisitive parents. This kit is a collection of activities centered on these small treasures. The activities marry math, literature, and cooperative learning in a captivating format. Donor: SD 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program.

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Grades K – 4

Farmers Grow My Plate

Farmers Grow MyPlate is a 5-unit curriculum kit based on the USDA Choose MyPlate food guide. The kit includes a complete set of lessons, visuals for teaching, and supplies for 12-15 youth.

Each unit include lessons on nutrition, food preparation, food production, physical activity, and arts/crafts. Topics cover food groups, fruit and vegetables, dairy, grain and protein.This is versatile and complete for teaching Kindergarten through 4th grade youth. The kit is provided by a Team Nutrition State Training Grant through the SD Department of Education.

Group Solutions

This kit focuses on cooperative learning, providing young students with early and valuable experience in working and solving problems together. It also shows how to motivate students to cooperate. Donor: SD 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program.

Group Solutions Too

Like the original, this kit fosters the development of cooperative learning and problem solving.

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Grades K – 6

Animal Tracks

Students will learn differences between different predator and prey tracks found in South Dakota and unravel track mysteries to tell a story.

Incredible Journey

Map your way through the water cycle with this Project WET activity. Students simulate being a water drop, cycling through the earth systems, collecting beads as they go. Kit includes beads, fuzzy sticks, and both large and small spinners.

Investigating Artifacts

This kit brings together three activities related to anthropology and archaeology and drawn from diverse Native American and world cultures. Students sort and classify natural objects found on a class walk and then make their own masks from these materials. Teams of student scientists carefully sift through “artifacts” in a shoebox midden, and the class creates its own stories or myths to explain natural phenomena. Donor: Carolina Biological Supply

Lakes and Streams

This trunk was developed by the East Dakota Water Development District and is available to borrow through the SD Discovery Center. The kit provides posters, videos, books, puppets and more. Read more about the trunk contents.

Terrarium Habitats

These life-science activities bring the natural world into your classroom and deepen children’s understanding of and connection to all living things. Students investigate soil; design and populate terrariums; and observe and record changes over time. Donor: Carolina Biological Supply

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Grades 1 – 3

Involving Dissolving

In Involving Dissolving, your students conduct experiments in which substances dissolve and then are “brought back”. They make solutions, and watch with inquisitive eyes as liquids evaporate and solids crystallize. They gain experience, discovering that some substances dissolve while other do not; some dissolve quickly, while others take days. In the process, important science skills are practices and refined, including observing, comparing, describing, recording and predicting results. This kit will help your students understand that the dissolved solid is still in the liquid, even though it can’t be seen.

Liquid Explorations

In a series of fun, fluid activities, young students explore the properties of liquids. They play a classification game, observe how food coloring moves through different liquids, create secret salad-dressing recipes, and the class makes an “Ocean in a Bottle”.

Matter: Solids, Liquids and Gases

Designed to meet the demand for improved physical science units in the early grades, the GEMS Matter guide challenges students to inquire into the physical world around them. Within this unit students explore solids, liquids, and gases, then delve deeper into states of matter when looking at challenging substances.

Secret Formulas

In these compelling physical science activities, children investigate the properties of substances as they make their own personal brands of toothpaste, paste, cola, and ice cream. The unit provides real-life experiences with chemistry and conveys key science/math skills and concepts including cause and effect.

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Grades 2 – 3

Mystery Festival-Who Borrowed Mr. Bear

The science of investigation and experimentation will be introduced. Students will do basic exploration experiments to discover who stole Mr. Bear.

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Grades 2 – 4

On Sandy Shores

These interdisciplinary classroom activities enable students, grades 2 – 4, to explore and deepen their understanding of many aspects of the sandy shore, from the grains of sand themselves to plants, animals, and the dynamic biological and ecological interactions that take place where the water meets the land.

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Grades 2 – 6

Aquatic Habitats

Student groups set up models of a living pond in the classroom. Then they use hands-on activities to study the dynamic interaction of plants and animals. Donor: Carolina Biological Supply

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Grades 3 – 5

Math on the Menu

Math, Mexican food and problem-solving strategies may seem like an unlikely combination, but this kit successfully integrates them all to provide students with practical mathematical challenges. Student expand their math and problem-solving skills as they develop recipes, analyze costs, set prices, and refine logistics to help the Rosada family manage and grow its Mexican restaurant. Donor: SD 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program.

Space Science Sequencing

Students learn fundamental concepts in space science using the Sun-Earth-Moon system as the focus. Through models, hands-on activities, and readings, students explore topics such as planet size and distance, Earth’s shape and spin, gravity the apparent movement of the sun and stars, moon phases and eclipses. Each of the 4 units in the sequence contains 4 to 9 60-minute sessions. Donor: Carolina Biological Supply

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Grades 3 – 6

Electric Circuits*

This flexible unit opens with conductors, insulators and simple closed circuits; these early sessions can combine to serve as a basic electricity unit. In later, more advanced sessions, students read circuit diagrams, build circuits, and learn about parallel circuits. Donor: Carolina Biological Supply

In All Probability

Students gain confidence in these concepts as they investigate chance, gather and analyze data, make predictions and draw conclusions. Provides a solid basis for the development of real-life understandings and skills. Donor: Carolina Biological Supply

Schoolyard Ecology

Students are introduced to biological sampling techniques and mapping as they survey their schoolyards ecosystem. Based on the results of their survey, they select their favorite part of the schoolyard and then write about it in a concluding activity.

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Grades 4 – 8

Bubble-ology

Students use bubbles to learn about light and color, aerodynamics, chemical composition, surface tension and technology. They observe, set up an experiment, measure and record data, calculate the results and draw conclusions.

Crime Lab Chemistry*

Students become “crime lab chemists” who try to determine which black pen was used to write a ransom note. Using paper towels, black ink, and water, students learn about paper chromatography. .

Earth, Moon & Stars

Students learn a great deal about Earth and astronomy with modeling and observation activities that focus on gravity, shape of our planet, moon phases and eclipses, and the stars. A questionnaire of Earth’s shape and gravity makes an excellent pre- and post-assessment tool.

Environmental Detectives

After learning that fish and other wildlife near Synchrony City and its rural surroundings have been dying, students become environmental detectives. Once armed with the appropriate chemical and biological tests, they try to figure out if chlorine, oil pollution, acid rain, erosion-or just what-is causing the wildlife deaths. Kit contains for prepaid delivery of perishable materials. Return coupon at least two weeks prior to requested delivery date to ensure prompt arrival of materials.

Exploring Magnetism

In the sessions of “Exploring Magnetism,” your students will act as scientists discovering magnetic fields and electromagnetism through inquiry and measurement.

Inventing to Learn

This kit is stocked full of materials that will be used to investigate all sorts of fun scientific inventions. Your students will learn about the internal mechanisms of a toy car by taking it apart. They will use what they have learned to build a car of their own, have a classroom car race and graph their findings. They will build a self-propelled boat that runs with balloon power. These and many more inventions will be the highlight of your students’ year if you Invent to Learn with this kit.

Life Through Time

Students are introduced to the concept of evolution. Evolutionary time is captured in evolving dioramas and rotating station activities that introduce students to the concepts of adaptation, relatedness and “deep time.

Math Around the World*

This stimulating unit uses games and puzzles from many continents to explore mathematics in a multicultural, international context. Each game can be presented as a two or three-session activity or as a stand-alone learning station. Maps and historical connections provide a social studies element. Donors: SD 21st Century Community Learning Centers

Microscopic Explorations

Students explore the microscopic world in 10 captivating learning stations. These stations, such as pond life and crystals, present a potpourri of investigations designed to pique students’ interest in science. After they complete the 10 stations, students have the opportunity to show what they have learned at the 11th station, which can be used as a wrap-up or a quiz.

Moons of Jupiter

Observing and recording moon orbits over time, students reenact Galileo’s historic telescopic study of Jupiter’s moons and learn why his observations contributed to the birth of modern astronomy. Over the course of 5 activities, students experiment with craters, create scale models, and take a tour of the Jupiter system.

Mystery Festival-The Felix Story

Students will explore a crime scene, use DNA tests and work together to determine the conclusion in this mystery.

Ocean Currents

What causes ocean currents? What impact do they have have on Earth’s environment? How have they influenced human history? Students gain fascinating insights into our ocean planet through these innovative activities. They learn how wind, temperature, salinity, and density set water into motion, and they make an “in-depth” investigation of the key physical science concept of density. They model how pollution dumped in one location can spread throughout the ocean. Learn is place in a real world context as students predict and analyze routes taken by shipwrecked sailors in the 1990 Nike shoe spill, the raft Kon Tiki and other voyages. In “Message in a Bottle”, students create stories to show what they’ve learned over the course of the unit.

Oobleck: What Do Scientists Do?

In this immensely popular unit, the strangely behaving substance called Oobleck provides students authentic insight into real-world scientific inquiry. Students are totally engaged in observation, hands-on investigation, a scientific convention, and spacecraft design.

QUADICE

Mental Math, fractions, and teamwork are the keystones of this kit. Students work in teams of 3 to solve problems in mental math, manage fraction, use strategy, and consider probability – all in an exciting game format. Teams use a set of 4 dice to play 12 rounds involving any mix of addition, subtraction, division and multiplication problems. To promote teamwork, there is a cooperative-learning option that rewards a high group score. Donor: SD 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program.

Stories in Stone

This earth-science unit explores the formation of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Students distinguish between and classify rocks and minerals, observe formation of salt crystals and make crystal shapes, and use clay-modeling activities to learn about the rock cycle and more.

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Grades 5 – 8

Messages from Space

This kit focuses on some of the questions that scientists must tackle when they explore the possibilities of extraterrestrial intelligence in outer space. Students will be exposed to the scientific view of out place in the cosmos, giving them the background to critically evaluate unscientific claims, such as the often sensationalized possibility of an “alien” invasion.

Only One Ocean

As its title suggests, this GEMS guide is designed to help students understand the tremendous environmental importance of the ocean. The unit begins with a revealing hands-on activity, “Apples and Oceans” that focuses on the vast proportion of the Earth that is ocean and the much smaller slices where the ocean resources are concentrated. Students dissect real squids, gaining insight into the adaptations of squids to their open ocean habitat. Students then launch an intensive investigation of species-threatening issues related to key ocean fisheries and the increasing scarcity of ocean resources.

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Grades 6 – 8

Invisible Universe

Students will deepen their understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum and find real-life uses for wavelengths. They will experiment at “invisible energy” stations, including a TV remote control, AM and FM radios, and black light.

River Cutters

Creating river models using a dripper system and diatomaceous earth, students acquire geological terminology and begin to understand rivers as dynamic, ever-changing systems. They investigate the concepts of erosion, pollution, toxic waste, and human manipulation of rivers, and gain understanding of controlled experimentation. This unit is an ideal springboard for the full-scale independent student investigations strongly urged by the National Standards. With the GEMS guides Acid Rain and Global Warming & the Greenhouse Effect, River Cutters can be used to good advantage in a unit on environmental issues and human impact.

Space Science Curriculum Sequencing

This advanced kit offers lessons on the Sun’s effect on Earth, why we have seasons, and the Solar System…. and Beyond.

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Grades 7 +

Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect

Students explore this crucial topic through a variety of formats. The unit presents scientific theories and evidence and helps students see environmental problems from different points of view. Donor: Carolina Biological Supply.

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Parent/Adult Learning

Parent Partners: Workshops to Foster School/Home/Family Partnerships

Parent Partners provides parents and other caregivers with concrete, practical things they can do to help their children succeed in school. This kit is designed for educators and activists parents seeking to increase parents involvement in their child’s education. The varieties of tools in this kit educate parents about current approaches in science and mathematics education and about the enormous positive education impact parents can have.

* We have multiples of these kits to loan out!

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