Prototyping Kits offered by the Public Lab Kits Initiative are in-development kits which we send out for people to help prototype and experiment with, in order to refine and improve. These help support the development of new techniques for monitoring environmental problems. We call these **Prototyping Kits** and they come with a list of challenges and problems to solve.
Of course all Public Lab projects are continuously improving, but Prototyping Kits are a way to "boost" development by getting a larger group engaged in hands-on experimentation. They may include extra materials, for example.
### Why prototype?
This is an important part of how Public Lab kits come to be, and improve -- by engaging a broad community in testing, hacking, modifying, and refining the kits through their entire lifecycle - from early, rough prototypes to more robust, well-tested tools that have been put through their paces. The Public Lab non-profit does not do traditional in-house product research and development; instead we focus on facilitating across our network to provide mutual support in the Community Science model.
The [Mini Balloon Kit](/wiki/mini-balloon-kit) and [Mini Kite Kit](/wiki/mini-kite-kit) from the [2017 Balloon Mapping Kits Kickstarter](https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/publiclab/kickstarter-gold-balloon-mapping-kits/) are examples of Prototyping Kits -- each also lists a set of questions, unsolved problems, and goals.