IMPORTANT: Our pricing has been updated, effective August 15, 2022.

Living Materials in FOSS

We believe that studying live organisms is a critical part of any life science curriculum. It is especially important to support the philosophy that children learn best through direct, hands-on experiences. We are committed to including the study of live organisms as part of the FOSS curriculum.

We know the use of live organisms comes with a unique set of challenges, but like you, we think it's well worth the effort. We continue to support and abide by state and federal regulations and NSTA guidelines for the responsible treatment of animals in the classroom while taking steps to ensure that children have hands-on life science experiences, and teachers and school districts have a variety of options to obtain organisms.


The transport of cockroaches is forbidden in Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, and Tennesee.


Currently, the transport and/or importation of live crayfish (including Australian crayfish and all freshwater species within the families Astacidea, Cambaridae, and Parastacidae) is restricted in Arizona and Wisconsin.

Delta Education has been working with the Arizona Fish and Game Department to allow crayfish in the classroom for educational purposes. For more information about obtaining a Wildlife Holding License to get crayfish into your Arizona classroom, please go to this page.

Unfortunately, if crayfish are not permitted to be shipped to your state and you can not find them locally, you will have to skip investigation 3. Please note that does offer additional resources that can help your students learn about crayfish.

Land Snails

The transport of land snails requires a valid permit in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington.

Obtaining Land Snails

If you want to receive land snails from a biological supply company in another state, then you are required by the USDA to obtain a permit for the transport of these snails. The checklist below will take you through this process and help you to plan the timing of your lessons. Should you require additional assistance at any point in this process, please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-258-1302 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST.

Please allow 6-8 weeks prior to your first land snail lesson to complete this process.

Print the permit application (USDA PPQ 526) and return to this page for complete instructions.

If your state is not listed above, your state is not currently* approved to receive land snails from out-of-state suppliers.

Section 1 - MUST include ALL of the following: contact name, title, school name, and physical address

Section 2 - Telephone number of contact noted in Section 1

Section 4D - Approximate number of specimens you will be requesting within the next 12 months (i.e., 4 cards for 20 snails each = 80)

Section 8 - City and state noted in Section 1

Section 10 - Date, approximately 4 weeks from date noted in Section 18

Section 11 - Approximate number of cards you will be redeeming within the next 12 months (i.e., 4 cards for 20 snails each = 4)

Section 17 - Signature of PERSON NAMED IN SECTION 1. Applications without a signature or with the signature of someone other than the person named in Section 1 will be denied.

Section 18 - Date of application completion

Make a photocopy of your completed application for your records.

Mail your original completed application to USDA, APHIS, PPQ; 4700 River Road, Unit 133; Riverdale, MD 20737 OR fax your original completed application to 301-734-8700.

After approximately 7 business days, you may check the status of your application by contacting the USDA at 877-770-5990; please press 6 at the prompt.

Within 3-5 weeks, you will receive notification from the USDA, via mail, of the status of your application. 

As soon as you know the week in which you would like to receive your land snails (always allow 3-4 weeks from mail date), please complete your live material coupon and mail to Delta Education, PO. Box 3000, Nashua, NH 03061-3000 or fax to 1-800-282-9560. PLEASE CLEARLY WRITE your permit number somewhere on the live material coupon. Land Snail coupons cannot be redeemed without a valid permit number.

You will receive your land snails on Wednesday or Thursday of the week requested.