Monday, October 18, 2010

Salt Experiment Follow Up

As promised, here are the still photos J5 took with our Intel QX3 digital microscope. He really enjoys using it and I finally managed to upload them to our network server so I could load them onto my blog easily. Mission accomplished!

Salt crystal magnified 20x

Salt Crystal 60x

Salt Crystal 200x
J5's explanation of how we got the salt. Remember in the story of making an apple pie and seeing the world, the little girl takes a jar full of seawater on her way to Jamaica to get sugar cane. Then when she gets home she evaporates the water to get the salt for her apple pie.

In the end, he drew pictures of what he saw under the lowest magnification (10x) and he dictated to me what he had done and I wrote it down. He is young enough that often he will dictate to me and I'll write it all or I will write a few sentences in pencil and he will trace my yellow marker words. Dictation works really well when you know that a child who is 5 can tell you an awful lot more than he can write.

For those of you wondering about our digital microscope...the current version is the Intel QX5. It has pretty much the same features with perhaps a slightly better bulb. It may also play nicer with Windows 7, etc. However, we acquired our QX3 secondhand because the family selling it upgraded to Vista and it would no longer work. Dan used his computer super powers to make it happen and we have been enjoying it since. True confessions though: We currently have the QX3 working with our XP machine. Shhh! The digital microscope is not a traditional light microscope, but it's a valuable tool. Hmmm...perhaps it is time to do a little post on microscopes in the homeschool? Stay tuned...

1 comment:

dstb said...

Very neat! I like the pics.

I did want to issue a warning about the QX5 though. We bought one last year because people had raved about them. Unfortunately, we were never able to get ours to work properly even with help from the nice people at Digital Blue and with our own computer whiz. Recently, I was looking at reviews of them on Amazon and someone mentioned that the software would not work on machines that had ADM processors rather than Intel. I don't know if that was our problem or not (we do have ADM), but I wanted to give people a heads up.

I recently bought a different microscope and camera. I haven't tried the camera yet as we are having issues with our laptop, but hopefully we will soon be able to do cool experiments that we can take pictures of!