Posted on

Evolution of a Science Take-Out Kit

We don’t just create a new kit and put it up for sale. Each Science Take-Out kit undergoes a comprehensive development process to ensure that it is both student-friendly and teacher-friendly while also meeting significant learning objectives. Below, we describe the evolution of our Diagnosing Diabetes kit. This illustrates the ways in which teacher feedback and student data are used to create a Science Take-Out product that is effective in diverse learning environments.

STO focus group1



After our kit developers created an initial prototype of the Diagnosing Diabetes kit, a group of 10 teachers met to experience the prototype kit as if they were students.  They discussed the kit and provided initial feedback and suggestions for modifications to thekit activities and materials. The prototype kit was then modified, based on the focus group’s input.



The revised prototype Diagnosing Diabetes kits then went on to in-school pilot testing by 5 teachers who used the kits in their classrooms. Our pilot testers provided us with detailed feedback on the kit activities, materials, student instructions and teacher guide. They also sent us samples of student work (with students’ names removed) so we could see how students answered the embedded assessment questions. The kits were then modified, based on the feedback from pilot testing.

The Diagnosing Diabetes kits then went on to wide-scale field testing by 10 teachers from throughout the US.  Our field test teachers provided us with the same detailed feedback as our pilot test teachers. Field test teachers were also asked to administer pre/post-tests (before and after their students used the kits), and we used this data to study the impact that the kits have on student learning.

Examples of feedback from our field test teachers:

Very good flow. Builds knowledge gradually and the students will remember it.

Very Informative, great sequence, good diagrams and graphs that makes it easy to understand the concepts.

Kits were complete and well labeled. Easy to understand. I love that it appeals to several learning styles!

Please translate the kit into Spanish. We would like to use it in Puerto Rico. (Note: A Spanish version of the kit is now available.)

Once we received the field testing feedback, and made our final modifications to the Diagnosing Diabetes kits, the kits were then ready for sale. However, as you read below, our work wasn’t over once the kits hit our web site!



Our Science Take-Out kits are presented at dozens of workshops each year. Some workshops are led by our Science Take-Out team, but most workshops are led by teachers. We are delighted to support teacher-led workshops (we provide free kits and presentation materials) because they allow us to reach teachers throughout the US at state and local professional development conferences. Over 500 teachers have experienced our Diagnosing Diabetes kits at teacher-led workshops throughout the US.

I loved this workshop! The activities were interactive, interesting, and explained things in a way that my students would understand.

I was impressed with the workshop.  Many of the participants had no idea about teaching the concept presented and they were involved and learning themselves.

This workshop was great – so immediately usable and applicable to what I actually teach!

We have also learned from our workshop presenters that Diagnosing Diabetes kits are being used for many different levels of student learning, from middle school general biology, to community college anatomy and physiology.



Grant funding from the National Institutes of Health supported our 2-year project to study the impact of the Diagnosing Diabetes kit on student learning.  In Year 1 of this project, we developed a valid and reliable 15 question pre/post-test. In Year 2 of this project, we collected pre/post-test data from approximately 350 students. Statistical analysis of this data provides evidence that the Diagnosing Diabetes kit has a large and statistically significant impact on student understanding of glucose regulation and diabetes. To request a copy of this research report, email us at [email protected].



We also created a custom Diagnosing Diabetes unassembled kit pack for the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Principles in Biomedical Sciences course (  This custom kit pack specifically correlates with the PLTW course curriculum to simulate testing of glucose and insulin levels for three patients.



Would you like to be involved in helping us develop future Science Take-Out kits?  Email us at [email protected] and we will put you on our pilot/field test contact list.