Do It Yourself Kits


These kits support assorted lessons and protocols with no explicit SEP-designed lab activities including Private Eye and Fly Genetics.

Kit Sign Up Process

NOTE: Please give us a minimum of two weeks’ advance notice so we can process your request.

1. Complete Online Demographic Form (only needs to be done once, skip if already filled out) Estimated numbers are OK.

2. Fill out the SCHOOL-YEAR KIT REQUEST form:

3: Confirmation Email: Once we have your items scheduled we will send a preliminary email summarizing your items and dates for pick up and drop off. 

Private Eye Kit

Illustration of a magnifying glass over a leaf

The Private Eye® is about the drama and wonder of looking closely at the world, thinking by analogy, changing scale, and theorizing. Designed to develop higher-order thinking skills, creativity, and scientific literacy, it is an excellent way to introduce the power of learning by asking questions and making analogies. Using magnifying loupes, students look closely at familiar objects and use analogies to connect form and function. A great activity for all age groups! Learn more at

  • The loupe—a 5X magnification tool (36 loupe set)
  • Natural specimens to observe
  • 6-well plates & Petri dishes to collect specimens 
  • Private Eye® guidebook and posters

Fly Genetics

Illustration of a magnifying glass over a leaf

Students work with the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, one of the best model organisms for studying genetics, development, and behavior. In addition to basic information on handling the flies, the kit notebook has a number of interesting investigations that can be adapted for use with your students. Some recommended activities are genetic crosses, polytene chromosome squashes, fly sperm observation, sexing flies, and testing fly behavior.


  • Fly food and anesthetic
  • Great collection of teaching slides
  • Magnifying loupes, small Petri dishes, general fly handling supplies
  • Fly culture vials and stoppers
  • Incubator

NOTE: No Flies are provided in the kit!!! 

To arrange for flies, contact: Celeste Berg Lab, University of Washington, Genome Sciences

Web Resources for Private Eye Kit

Wikipedia: Private Eye
Quick background on the Private Eye Project and some additional links.

Cell Size and Scale interactive
From the Genetic Science Learning Center, use this quick interactive to help gain a sense of the size and scale of cells and molecules.

Nikon Universcale-visual scale/magnification demonstration
From the nanoworld to the universe
— The worlds we measure using our infinite yardstick.

We are able to view all entities, from the microworld to the universe, from a single perspective. By setting images up with a scale, we are able to compare and understand things which cannot be physically compared.

Nikon's Small World Gallery
images from Nikon's photomicrography competition

Powers of 10 video (Eames)
Powers of Ten takes us on an adventure in magnitudes. Starting at a picnic by the lakeside in Chicago, this famous film transports us to the outer edges of the universe. Every ten seconds we view the starting point from ten times farther out until our own galaxy is visible only as a speck of light among many others. Returning to Earth with breathtaking speed, we move inward- into the hand of the sleeping picnicker - with ten times more magnification every ten seconds. Our journey ends inside a proton of a carbon atom within a DNA molecule in a white blood cell.

Cells Alive
Excellent collection of photos, videos, and interactives for learning more about cells. Try the cancer cell cam or the bacteria cam!

Zoom by Istvan Banyai (You Tube video made from the book)
fun example of size and scale

Metric system prefixes
Good graphic of metric prefixes. Search Google Images for many variations.