Sunday, June 14, 2009

Microscope 101

The kids and I went to a really cool science class this week. I had asked Ben's science teacher if she could teach us all about our microscope and she set up a class for all four of us!

We were really excited to be greeted by two of her nine dogs. They always stand on the roof and bark at anyone who is walking up to the house. I have watched Ben enter every week, convinced that one day one of these dogs would take a flying leap and land on his head. The Pomeranians probably wouldn't hurt so much, but she has Rottweilers up there sometimes too.

The class was really awesome. We learned all about how a microscope functions and then we learned how to set up slides. Depending on what you are mounting on the slide, you can add water or oil, and sometimes a drop of a coloring agent if you need to make the cells visible.

The kids had to set up their own slides and look at them through the microscope.

Sometimes they had to adjust the amount of light....

Or just fine tune the focus.
But we all learned pretty much everything we need to know
about using our microscope.

We cut pieces off a cork and viewed that under a microscope. The pieces have to be really tiny - I mean really, really tiny. If I had been doing this at home on my own I would have cut a small piece and it wouldn't have been nearly as small and thin as what was actually needed. It's cool how we could see all the individual cells of the cork.

Then we plucked a stem off a plant in her house and shaved a super thin piece off of it with a razor blade and prepared it on a slide. We actually saw some of the cells dividing.

We also looked at an onion root tip, a housefly head (rather hairy), and a slide showing the development of a chicken fetus. We saw lots of cool slides - Ben's teacher has some great resources available to her.

In conclusion, I leave you with this lovely image.................

The Hairy Housefly Head.

(Ooooooh. That sounds like a good title for a scary movie.)

1 comment:

  1. lol..those dogs on the roof are too funny!