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About Us

About Us

About Carolina

More than 90 years of world-class support for science education.

We began as a vision of what a science supplier could be, and 90 years later, we still embody that future-focused visionary perspective. At Carolina, we are constantly striving to improve and innovate to be the best we can be, always aiming for excellence in everything that we do.

Since the time we were founded by Dr. Thomas E. Powell Jr., a young geology and biology professor at Elon College, we have prioritized people, and because of the dynamic people behind our company, we have been able to enjoy a successful tenure as a leading science supplier in the 90 years since we were established. With over 37 different departments, each employee plays a key role in our success. If you happened to tour our facilities, you would likely be fascinated by all the amazing things you’d see happening here.

We Culture, Collect, Develop, and Test Our Products

Carolina is an extraordinary company. From technical science expertise to business and leadership acumen, we are fortunate to have a broad range of strengths. Many of our employees also have a background in education, which we draw upon to create effective products and learning tools that get results.

We do our own field collection, grow many of our own cultures, prepare specimens for classroom study, and develop/test many of our new products right here. We work in partnership with educators and scientists outside of Carolina to make sure we have a substantial, diverse offering.

In addition to serving schools, our products have also been used by the scientific and health communities. We have a 24-hour order hotline for a special program to supply medicinal leeches to doctors and hospitals. Carolina has also supplied NASA scientists with various products for their important work.


Over 90 Years of Innovation

If you walk our campus, you’ll be captivated by the vibrant atmosphere and the flurry of activity that makes you wonder what amazing thing will be revealed next. We take pride in being the first company to provide an electrophoresis gel that is very low in toxicity and does not need UV to see through. We developed FlyNap to anesthetize fruit flies so they can be studied. We were also the first company to develop and provide an easy-to-use food supply for fruit flies.

We have the largest single butterfly species production on the east coast. Our butterfly building, (yes, building) is simply a fantastic experience. While walking through this wonderland, you are surrounded by the different stages of the butterfly life cycle. It doesn’t take long before you are taken with that child-like wonder of discovering nature.


About Our Products and Services

Everything you need for science education-including living organisms, preserved specimens, anatomical models, laboratory chemicals and equipment, microscopes, prepared microscope slides, and more-can be purchased directly from Carolina. We specialize in serving the traditional K-12/college classroom and lab. We also provide 3D Learning classroom kits, K-8 curriculum programs, and Distance Learning programs for colleges.


K-12 science classroom: Carolina will help you introduce your students to the fascinating world of science. With our products in your classroom, you can provide a hands-on learning experience for life science, physical & Earth science, biotechnology, and more. We’ll be right there with you, creating lasting, memorable, and meaningful science experiences with relevance to the world outside your classroom.


Curriculum Programs: Carolina and the Smithsonian have partnered together to bring you materials for phenomena and problem-based modules for K-8 that are setting the standard in 3D learning and assessment.

Carolina also offers Building Blocks of Science® to help you confidently teach 3-dimensional learning for grades K-5. These modules are designed for NGSS and can be taught in 30 minutes!

Distance Learning

Carolina Distance Learning®: We offer campus-quality labs for online students that provide the same rigor, relevance, and results that traditional labs provide. Carolina has leveraged 90+ years of expertise to be able to offer more courses than our competition. We also provide free course design, the flexibility to customize, and shipping schedules to match your timeline so you can plan and facilitate labs with ease and confidence (and without aggravation and stress).

We Take Customer Feedback Seriously

Everyone says this, but not everyone follows through. Here at Carolina, we meet regularly to discuss our performance and how we can improve. Customer service, product development, product management, and operations all have an equal voice in how to make the customer experience better for you. It’s not uncommon to find a group of Carolina employees on the road making visits and collecting customer input and feedback. We partner with many teachers and schools throughout the US to seek the best plan of action regarding next steps.

We know your time is valuable, and your voice matters. We appreciate you sharing your time and thoughts with us to help elevate the classroom experience of other science educators like you.


Our Staff

Dr. Powell instilled 3 key words into every person he hired: innovation, quality, and service. He based these 3 principles on the belief that Carolina Biological staff members remained a part of education and functioned as partners with colleagues working in the classroom.

Today, we employ over 450 people, many of whom are former educators and understand the unique challenges teachers face in the classroom and laboratory. Our staff often collaborate with teachers and institutions to create new educational products. The benefits of this approach can be seen in the way our materials help teachers engage and motivate students. If you are interested in working at Carolina, please see our current Employment Opportunities.

Customer Service

Our Customer Service

Since 1927, our collaborative approach has not only brought teachers innovative quality products, it has also been instrumental in providing world-class support that includes unmatched customer service and prompt, reliable delivery. Each department at Carolina works together to ensure that we have what you want when you want it.

Every product we offer is backed by The Carolina Pledge: Excellent Customer Support. We stand behind our products. Subject to the conditions and exclusions, items may be returned for a replacement, refund, or credit up to 180 days from date of purchase.