Beyond Benign

Elementary School

CUR Elementary School

coming soon - elementary school curriculum

Sustainable Science Curriculum:

These units focus on technologies inspired by nature (biomimicry) and the intentional design of safer products and processes (green chemistry). Each unit has been designed to have four 30-minute interdisciplinary lessons aligned to NGSS, MA STE standards, MA Common Core Language Arts & Math standards as well as Art and Social Studies extensions.


The lessons featured have been designed for informal educators of upper elementary school students. Many of these lessons have been tailored for introducing green chemistry at community outreach events. These lessons are designed to spark student interest in sustainability and STEM.

lesson preview

3rd Grade: Blue Mussels: Expert Sustainable Engineers
Students will learn about the physical and chemical properties of blue mussels. Through mini investigations they will test adhesion and strength of different materials.

3rd Grade: Shark Tank: Biomimicry Design Challenge
Students will investigate how nature inspires sustainable design and they will then create their own “product” inspired by nature.

4th Grade: The Secrets of Shark’s Skin
Students will learn about how sharks are the inspiration for the greener design of many products. The challenge will be for the students to apply their knowledge of patterns to create a simulation of how shark’s skin prevents bacteria from growing on a surface.

5th Grade: Desalination Design Challenge
Students will learn about the limits of the Earth’s fresh water sources. The challenge will ask students to create a device to desalinate salt water.

5th Grade: Properties of Adhesives: A Sticky Situation
Students will learn about scientists and engineers are drawing inspiration from nature. They will then conduct a series of experiments to test the strength of different tapes by measuring force and create their own homemade glue.