Building Blocks of Science 3D
Building Blocks of Science | 3DBuilding Blocks of Science | 3D

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are you looking for a new K-5 science program? Here are some common questions educators like yourself have about Building Blocks of Science 3D.

What is Building Blocks of Science 3D?

Building Blocks of Science™ 3D is an all-inclusive, hands-on, print and digital K–5 science program that was:
  •  Built to meet the NGSS and 3-dimensional learning objectives.
  •  Designed to be taught in 30-minute lessons.
Teaching three units per year per grade level addresses all your K–5 standards.

What is included with the program?

Everything a teacher needs to teach! Every kit purchase includes:
  •  Print and digital Teacher’s Guide for complete 3D instruction
  •  3D assessment system
  • Print and digital student literacy
  • Digital resources
  • Hands-on materials kits for 1 or 3 uses
  •  Spanish resources
  • Teacher instructions that include everything to teach the lessons
  • eBook student literacy
  • Interactive student reader
  • PDF and interactive Student Investigation Sheets
  • All student-facing digital resources
Hands-on materials kits come with enough materials for 24 students in grades K–2 or 30 students in grades 3–5. Digital access for teachers and students through Carolina Science Online™ is always included! There are never any teacher or student licensing fees—ever!

Is this an NGSS program that promotes phenomena-based 3D learning?

Yes! Building Blocks of Science 3D was developed to meet the NGSS. Lessons are anchored in phenomena and hands-on investigations that immerse students in 3D learning experiences. Students make connections between science phenomena and the world around them through a unit-specific anchoring phenomenon that is supported by individual, lesson-specific investigative phenomena that tie to the content. Examples of anchoring phenomena include pushes and pulls on a playground at Kindergarten, how forces interact at an amusement park at 3rd grade, and physical and chemical changes that occur during baking at 5th grade.

What does assessment look like?

The three-dimensional assessment system in Building Blocks of Science 3D helps teachers gauge student progress and understanding from the start of a unit.
Assessments include:
  •  Pre-Unit and Formative Assessments, including Tell Me More prompts, that gauge levels of student understanding and guide instruction
  •  Summative Performance Task Assessments that evaluate students’ mastery of the Performance Expectations in the final lesson
  • Written Summative Assessments in which students demonstrate their understanding of unit content by answering questions in a variety formats that are aligned to the Performance Expectations
  • Scenario-Based Digital Assessment that challenges students to apply their understanding of unit content to questions presented in a variety of contexts
  • Rubrics that guide teachers in evaluating individual student performance and understanding

How are literacy and math integrated into Building Blocks of Science 3D?

Building Blocks of Science features a complete literacy system that offers a variety of literacy formats to support ELA reading and writing standards. Literacy opportunities relate to science content and are used in application with students’ hands-on experiences.
The literacy system includes:
  • Nonfiction student literacy readers and eBooks (available on-level and below-level and in English and Spanish)
  •  Interactive digital literacy readers
  • Literacy Articles
  • Science in the News
  • Innovators in Science
Hands-on investigations engage students in standards-based math skills that relate to the science content and the science and engineering practices.
ELA and math standards for each lesson are called out each lesson’s planner.

Do you have kits?

Yes! Building Blocks of Science 3D is an all-inclusive, hands-on program that INCLUDES kits with every purchase. The quality, durability, and age appropriateness of curriculum kit materials are at the forefront of the development of kits from Carolina. All materials are rigorously tested for quality and durability in the classroom and for effectiveness of intended outcomes in investigations. Careful consideration is given to cost and reusability of materials for all kits. Kits are packaged in durable, stackable totes for maximum storability and mobility.

How is kit usage sustained?

Many of the items in the Building Blocks of Science 3D kits may be reused. For items that are consumed and need to be replenished, 1-use and 3-use refurbishment sets are available. Additionally, individual component items are available for purchase using the Building Blocks of Science 3D Components Catalog,, or Carolina’s Customer Service.

Will Building Blocks of Science 3D help me teach ALL my students?

Building Blocks of Science provides tools to help teachers support the diverse needs of their students and to give students first-hand learning experiences.
The hands-on approach of Building Blocks of Science naturally lends itself to supporting the diverse learning styles and abilities among students. Hands-on investigations offer students a variety of ways to demonstrate understanding through writing, drawing, student discourse, and hands-on investigations. This in turn offers teachers a variety of ways to monitor students’ progress and understanding.
Teacher instruction and literacy resources provide everything teachers need to differentiate instruction and provide meaningful access for English learners.
Functionality of resources was considered during development. Units provide:
  • Digital PDF formats of investigation sheets that allow teachers the ability to edit for the different needs of their students.
  • Student literacy readers in print and digital formats and in English and Spanish.
  • Student literacy on and below grade level.
  • Digital literacy readers that allow for close reading strategies and text-to-speech capabilities.

Do you have Spanish?

Yes! All student resources are available in Spanish—both in print and digitally. Instruction for the teacher that includes everything they need to teach, is also available in Spanish.
For the teacher:
  • Anchoring and Investigative Phenomena
  • Standards, 5E instructional model references, background information
  • Glossary
  • Investigation procedures
  • Answer keys and assessment rubrics
For the student:
  • Phenomena videos
  • Student Investigation Sheets
  • Literacy readers
  • Digital resources—simulations, interactive readers, interactive Student Investigation Sheets
  • Assessments
  • Investigation cards sets
Learn more about how Building Blocks of Science 3D supports ELLs

How is technology integrated?

Building Blocks of Science 3D integrates technology in a way that meets teachers and students where they are in their digital journey. Whether a classroom is 1-to-1 or there is only one computer, all lessons can be fully taught.
Digital resources are intended to enhance and deepen student understanding, differentiate learning, and provide multiple modalities for delivering information.
Digital resources for students include:
  • Simulations
  • Interactive whiteboard activities
  • Interactive readers
  • Interactive Student Investigation Sheets
Digital resources for teachers include:
  • Digital Teacher’s Guide
  • Teacher preparation videos
  • Assignment management system
  • Student assignment creation
  • Assignment grading
Review digital resources

Can you integrate into our Learning Management System (LMS)?

Yes. Carolina Science Online is compatible with most LMS.

Do all my students need a computer?

No! Recognizing that there is tremendous variation in access to technology, Building Blocks of Science 3D was designed for flexible integration of digital resources. Whether a classroom is 1-to-1 or has only one computer, students have everything they need to complete every investigation.

Can I preview the program?

Yes! There are two ways to preview the program. We offer a digital review of the complete program. If you would like to see more, we can arrange to have samples sent for your review or talk to you about setting up a pilot.
Contact me about reviewing the program.

Does Building Blocks of Science address diversity in science?

Carolina Biological Supply Company is committed to providing curriculum that is sensitive to the needs of all students. Care was taken during development of Building Blocks of Science 3D and Innovators in Science to include a variety of ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations.
Innovators in Science, a digital resource on Carolina Science Online, offers a continually growing library of biographies of a diverse cross-section of members of the science community. These resources focus on an individual’s accomplishments and contributions to the science community. Teachers have the flexibility to choose how to incorporate these resources to best serve their diverse population of students.

Are there yearly teacher and student licensing fees?

Never! Building Blocks of Science 3D is an all-inclusive program. Digital access for teachers and students is included with your purchase of the program and extends through the life of the adoption.

Do you offer professional development?

Yes! Carolina Biological Supply Company is committed to providing comprehensive, customized professional development to meet the needs of teachers, staff, and administrators. Carolina’s professional development provides multiple opportunities for all teachers to master the curriculum and implement best practices Formats include hands-on workshops, webinars, and teacher resource videos. Learn more about Get Ready! Professional Learning

You’ve purchased Building Blocks of Science 3D. Here are some common questions. 

What’s the difference between a 1-use and 3-use kit?

A 1-use kit contains enough consumable materials to teach the unit once to a class of up to 24 students (K–2) or 30 students (3–5). A 3-use kit contain enough consumables (including living materials cards for those kits that have them) to teach the unit to 3 classes of 24 students (K–2) or 30 students (3–5). The number of reusable/non-consumable items does not vary between a 1- and 3-use kit.

How do I redeem living materials cards?

Your living materials sheets will be in a clear shipping envelope adhered to the side of the green tub of the kit (if new) or the side of a brown Carolina box (if a refurbishment).

Example of the Living Materials Shipping Envelope
Shipping Envelope
Example of the Living Materials Order Form
Living Materials Order Form

Remember to keep the additional sheets/sheet sets if you’ve purchased a 3-use kit or refurbishment.

Living materials sheets have a control number you can use to order. Directions for ordering are on the sheet.

I can’t find my living materials card. What do I do?

Call customer service at 800.334.5551 with your order number. They will look up the living materials control number for your specific order.

How do I care for the living materials in the unit?

Care guide information for units that have living materials can be found in Appendix D of the teacher’s guide. If you are using the digital teacher’s guide, this information can be found under the Unit Overview TabUnit ResourcesTeacher Resources → Appendix D: Live Organism Care Guide Downloadable PDF.

Where’s my teacher’s guide?

Spiral-bound teacher’s guides are found within the green crate that has the item number in this format: XXXXXX-1. Teacher’s guides are typically placed on the floor of the crate to avoid any warping.

How do I get to my digital resources?

Digital resources are accessed using a code sent via email when your kit is shipped. We often send the email to whoever placed the order, usually a purchaser at your school or district. If you cannot find the email, call our customer service team at 800.334.5551.

They will be able to locate the code and help you access your resources. If possible, have the order number or purchase order number available to help them locate your information quickly.

How do I know what materials need an (M)SDS?

Unit materials that require an SDS are designated in the materials list of the teacher’s guide with a dagger (†).

Where can I find (M)SDS information?

Chemical components that require SDS information (components designated in the materials list of the teacher’s guide with a dagger (†)) are available at

How can I get more information about professional development?

Read more about professional development opportunities in our professional development brochure. To set up PD, contact your regional sales manager.

How can I find my regional sales manager?

View regional sales information and identify your region's sales manager or contact us at

Where can I find the phenomena video associated with my unit?

Phenomena videos are in the digital versions of the teacher’s guides on Carolina Science Online. Select the unit from the Building Blocks of Science 3D resources matrix, then click on Lesson 1 → Lesson Overview → Phenomenon. The video is below the fold of the page. Need access to your digital resources? Get more information.
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