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The Science IDEAS model for grades 3-8 evolved over a 15 year period. The initial study in 1989 showed that 4th grade Science IDEAS students displayed higher achievement on nationally-normed tests in reading comprehension and in science (in comparison to demographically similar students) and more positive attitudes and self-confidence toward reading comprehension and science.

Expansion of the Science IDEAS model to over 50 classrooms and 1200 students across grades 3, 4, and 5 and to diverse (e.g., at risk) student populations was undertaken from 1989-1995. Again, the same significant patterns of findings on reading comprehension, science achievement on nationally-normed tests, and affective outcomes were obtained.

Applications to post-secondary science resulted in the present Science IDEAS model. The model, for both elementary and middle school, focuses the organization of all science instruction upon the core science concepts that reflect the logical structure of science as a discipline.