Saturday, April 4, 2009

Microscope Fun

So, I've been teaching this co-op class called Explorations in Science with my pal Shannon (Hi Shannon!). Shannon did a lesson with the kids on crystals. We observed them with hand lenses and the following week when their own had grown we took another under the microscope.

What better time to talk about magnification in general and to look at some other items under the microscope. We used the Intel Play QX3 Digital Microscope. This is not a traditional light microscope, but I happen to love it! Unlike its traditional counterparts, the digital model is great for working with more than one child because the image comes up on the computer monitor. Having two to three students to a scope is highly over rated. Trust me. Especially in a class of say 37. (been there) Anyhow, you can take still photographs of the object (which I have shared with you below) and you can take video and save it as well- think pond water!

You can take the magnifier out of its base and have "scope on a rope" so you can take a look at objects that don't fit on a stage. It can magnify 10, 60, or 200x. The kids don't get the feel of looking through the ocular lenses like they would on a regular light microscope, but that isn't so bad because that can be tricky for younger kids. The lens on the bottom has a protective rim so that prevents students from driving the objective lens through the slide when someone gets careless on high powered magnification.

All around this is a great microscope! The newer versions is the QX5 which reportedly has a better light in it but that's about it. Dan even found the way to work around Vista so we can use it with our new computers.

Trust me. This thing ROCKS!

Lichen on a piece of bark- 60x

Epsom Salt crystals- 60x
I'm looking forward to warmer spring so I can take the kids out and sample some pond water- maybe we can swipe some from our ditch out front. Do they still give grants to restore wetlands? I would LOVE to get one going in our front yard. I'm just sayin'.

1 comment:

School for Us said...

We have a version of that camera,too. And, I love it!

I'm getting ready to co-teach a science "sampler" class, too. We'll have kids broken into 3 groups - from K-8. We were thinking about trying some pond water. :-)