For many parents, older students can be intimidating. Not really the students, but the pressure to have sophisticated knowledge. Don’t let it bother you if you don’t know the answers-the best teachers help students discover the answer rather than always providing it to them.
This week my focus is biology. One of the most useful biology lab supplies is a microscope. Unfortunately, good microscopes are expensive. This means that most K-12 schools and homes can’t afford good scopes. If you don’t have a good scope, microscope work can be infuriating. It is hard when the mechanics of the scope are great! There are good alternatives for your students.
There are a couple of things I like as substitutes for scope work in K-12 (when good scopes are not available).
1. Using a microslide viewer.
You can follow the link to one supplier of microslide viewers. These are relatively cheap and more durable than most microscopes. They offer an introduction to microscopy without most of the frustrating parts. They are much smaller and easy to store. I have used these many times in introductory high school classes.
2. Photos known as micrographs.
These are readily available via the web. Use your favorite search engine to find slides, but be specific. If you aren’t up for web searching you have another option.
My new favorite toy is my iphone and there are lots of apps in science including microscopy. Yes, an app for microscopic slides (histology) and other things. Your phone or ipad doesn’t just have educational apps for little kids and games, but really useful and interesting apps for your older students or, if you are a geek like me, yourself.
For me to like the app it needs to be relatively cheap, clear, easy to navigate, and pretty. Some new apps I am digging right now are the science apps by Carolina.
I have purchased the animal histology and I am salivating over the other four. The animal histology includes mitosis and vertebrate histology which covers major organs and tissues. This is another screen shot of the app.
I think it is an awesome app and will be using it in many lessons to come! There are additional apps: plant histology, owl pellet, chemical formulas and the last title is building atoms, ions and isotopes.
There are lite versions which are free and full versions which run from $1.99-$4.99.
If you don’t want to buy and store a scope these are two great options for your student.
Disclaimer: These are my honest opinions, I have not been given any of these products. I am telling you my opinion based on my experience.
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