The Private Eye - looking closely and thinking by analogy with jeweler's loupes and inquiry method for hands-on interdisciplinary science, art, writing, math, and more

The Private Eye Kits
The Private Eye Kits

Read The Story of the Kits...

Class Kit The World in a Box® Do-It-Yourself
World in a Box
Table Team Set Desk Set

The Private Eye Class Kit
The Private Eye Class Kit showing contents

To make it as easy as possible to bring students and teachers to "other worlds" quickly, we have designed The Private Eye Class Kit.

In the Kit, along with a Class Set of Loupes and the items listed below under Class Kit Contents, you will find "The World In A Box®" - where the first stage of fieldwork is done for you. It is presented at "desktop" scale - a kind of tabletop fieldwork for looking, writing, drawing, theorizing.

The World In A Box open to view

The World in a Box® looks, at first glance, like a little art museum. It holds a mix of specimens reflecting the variety and visual interest of the real world. Nature is heightened, framed beautifully, to get the looking going fast, and with intensity. The real world is where the artist, scientist, writer, all begin and return to almost daily for the material and source of their work.

"The World in A Box" is carefully presented for maximum learning effect. It inspires students and teachers to begin looking closely at the world, and, after doing their own fieldwork, to apply these lessons in selection, preservation and framing.

Class Kit Contents:
  • A Class Set of Loupes (5X) 36 loupes in 2 poly-grid cases

  • The World In A Box® (36 specimens to get the looking going fast)

  • A class set of magnifier boxes (4X), with tube of Jeweler's glue

  • 20X Brock Microscope, durable, easy to use, built in light source, superb lens quality

  • Video Introduction to The Private Eye, (8 min.) Seminar & classroom use

  • Teacher Guide, laminated or paperback (240 pp)

  • The Private Eye Poster

  • Resource books and videos: Powers of Ten video; The Practical Entomologist (or nature guide for your region); Art Forms in Nature; Adventures with a Hand-Lens

  • The Private Eye Inquiry Poster Set, 6 posters
  • The Private Eye Tub

One Kit per class is ideal, but three to five Private Eye Kits often rotate (like a library book) per staff of twenty. To make the process a daily habit, each teacher should have an individual Class Loupe Set and Teacher Guide. Many schools and classes assemble their own "World in a Box" and put together their own Kits. We have items below to help you do this.

Price: With paperback guide: $635; with binder guide: $715

Do-It-Yourself World in a Box®

Same interior layout as The World in a Box, only YOU provide the specimens!

Do-It-Yourself World In A Box open to view 9"x13'x2.5' sturdy redwood box, hinged back, clasp on side; filled with 31 assorted containers (magnifier boxes, acrylic boxes, etc.) for holding your own specimens. Includes insect preservation instruction sheet and jeweler's glue.

(See pp. 69-71 in The Private Eye teacher guide for specimen suggestions.)

Price: $67.95

Kit items are also available for separate purchase.

    • Magnification and non-magnification specimen boxes A-D

    • jeweler's glue


NEW: The Private Eye's "Magnified Minds" Desk and Team Sets

The Private Eye Desk Set

A few more items and an additional loupe to engage two-somes and small teams.

Private Eye Desk Set - closed

Private Eye Desk Set - open

Like a small museum, this handsome alder wood box reveals: The Private Eye — Simple Steps to a Magnified Mind  

  • two loupes
  • amethyst
  • sea urchin test
  • paua shell
  • poppy seed pod
  • starfish leg
  • preserved beetle in magnifier box
  • cypress sprig in magnifier box
  • jasper
  • orange mesh
  • light bulb
  • the booklet The Private Eye — Simple Steps to a Magnified Mind (Ruef, 2003).

Price: $49.95

The Private Eye Table Team Set

To enhance team discoveries and The Private Eye experience, combine the Team Loupe Set with the Mini World-in-a-Box® (the same table-top specimen set used in every Private Eye Workshop). Perfect for table teams and Homeschool groups!

. Private Eye Table Team Set


  • six loupes in a plastic case
  • microfiber cleaning cloth
  • amethyst
  • barnacles on rock
  • sea urchin test
  • paua shell
  • poppy seed pod
  • preserved beetle in magnified box
  • cypress sprig in magnifier box
  • seahorse
  • stonefly in specimen box
  • jasper
  • vertebrae
  • light bulb

Price: $69.75


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