Press For Learning, LLC.

specializing in

Science Education

for grades K-8 and older beginning science learners


Building Foundations of 

Scientific Understanding (BFSU)


a three volume series by Bernard J. Nebel, Ph.D. scientist and educator

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding Vol. I

Volume I

grades K- 2

(2nd edition)

Volume II

grades 3- 5

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding Vol. III

Volume III

grades 6-8

The BFSU series presents detailed lesson plans that:

  • Address and integrate all the major areas of science and technology
  • Follow systematic learning progressions that build knowledge and understanding in systematic, logical steps
  • Aim at developing core ideas and conceptual understanding
  • Have students learn through their own hands-on experience and logical reasoning
  • Enable the teacher/parent to learn science along with their kids and be excellent role models in doing so.
  • Will serve in preparing students for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and other state standards.

Free Bonus

Users will find photographs, videos, reading lists, and other aids that enhance each lesson at  At users may also ask questions, discuss problems and blog with other users. Visit as you wish.

BFSU Curriculum

The BFSU curriculum contains four learning progressions: Nature of Matter; Life Science; Physical Science and Technology; Earth and Space Science. Lessons build in systematic steps and integrate with one another along the way forming a logical, ever-expanding continuum of learning. 
Teachers are guided to conduct lessons in a manner that entices students to learn and draw conclusions through their own hands-on experience, observations, thinking, and logical reasoning. The emphasis throughout is on developing an understanding of basic, crosscutting concepts and core ideas fundamental to one or more areas of science. 
In addition to reinforcing the comprehension of the science, suggested reading and writing assignments in each lesson will make BFSU highly useful in bringing students to master common-core standards for literacy. Likewise, BFSU aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Users will find BFSU both rigorous and flexible. Early lessons, while understandable by 5-6 year-olds, are important lessons for older students as well and can easily be presented in an age-appropriate manner. Each learning progression should be pursued in order, but switching among the progressions may be done to attune lessons to time of year, special opportunities, or personal interests. See the further description of each volume below. 




BFSU Volume I (for K-2 and older beginning science learners)

For an overview see:
 Volume I is $29.95        (The same lesson format is used throughout)

elementary science education


BFSU Volume II (for grades 3-5 and older beginning science learners)

For an overview see:

Table of ContentsSample Lesson

 Volume II is $29.95      (The same lesson format is used throughout)

middleschool science education


BFSU Volume III (for grades 6-8 and older beginning science learners)

For an overview see:

Table of ContentsSample Lesson

 Volume III is $34.95      (The same lesson format is used throughout)

Nebel's Elementary Education

Nebel’s Elementary Education: Creating a Tapestry of Learning

This volume, being a forerunner to BFSU, effectively outlines learning progressions for all the major subject areas of elementary eduction (K-8). While it does not provide specific lesson plans, users will find a plethora of ideas for organizing and pursuing the teaching of each of the subject areas.

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Far Surpasses Any Other Material I Have Come Across

I have read through quite a bit of Dr. Nebel’s material; this book as well as his other book, “Nebel’s Elementary Education, Creating a Tapestry of Learning”, and have been thoroughly impressed with both. I have taught in the public school system for over five years, and the past couple of years have been teaching lower elementary level. Thi…
By Deanna SchmidtKansas City, MO

bernie nebel bfsu

About the Author

Bernard J. Nebel, Ph.D.

Science is such a broad landscape that many teachers and parents can be completely stumped as to what to teach, when to teach it, and where to start. Press for Learning’s curriculum, “Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding” (BFSU) lays out lessons that address and integrate all the major areas of science and build understanding in a logical systematic manner. After several years of research Nebel tired of the specialization of research and turned to his real passion, teaching, and spent the majority of his career at Catonsville Community College (CCC) in Catonsville MD. Joining the CCC faculty as the environmental movement was coming into being Nebel recognized the need for but absence of a course in environmental science. He went on to develop and write one of early environmental science texts (Environmental Science, Prentice Hall, 1981 and subsequent editions). Nebel likes to say, “While I earned my degree in botany, my broad and varied interests really led me to specialize in being a generalist. This turned out the be the perfect background and training for environmental science” and later, elementary education. A second love, passion, and avocation throughout Nebel’s career has been working with (teaching) younger children. In his teaching at CCC, he continually confronted and became increasingly frustrated by the lack of formative, background knowledge and understanding demonstrated by his entry-level students. Examining elementary school curricula, coupled with his experience of what kids are capable of learning and understanding, led him to believe that there is a need and an opportunity for improvement. “Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding,” Nebel says, “is my contribution toward an improvement. Please consider this a work in progress. I will appreciate any feedback that you feel inclined to offer.”

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