Last September, Learning Science released a bioscience pre-lab library, featuring dozens of interactive resources. Taking in feedback from customers, we have now commenced the next phase: an expansion of our current offering which strengthens the base and broadens the horizon for the next academic year. More information on that to follow.
To start this phase off, we are pleased to announce four new light microscopy resources. Taken together, they offer students a comprehensive introduction to functional use of a compound light microscope. Used individually, each one functions as a stand-alone resource to target specific skills. Here’s what your students can achieve with each one:
1. Setting up a microscope
In this resource, students practice the key steps involved in setting up a compound light microscope.
In the first task, students label the key components of a microscope and are shown the important functions each of these play. They are then asked to select the appropriate brightness, interocular distance, stage height and objective lens to begin viewing a sample. A summary slide allows students to review the steps involved in setting up a microscope.
2. Köhler illumination
In this resource, students practice the key steps involved in setting a microscope up for Köhler illumination.
Students are first introduced to Köhler illumination and the benefits of using this technique. They will familiarise themselves with the different controls that need to be adjusted to establish Köhler illumination; the field diaphragm, the condenser and the iris diaphragm.
They will work through the five steps involved in the process and learn how each adjustment contributes to the even illumination and improved resolution and contrast of the image.
3. Focussing and navigating
In this resource, students learn how to focus and centre an image seen down a microscope.
Students will practice using the microscope focus controls to bring an image into focus at three different magnifications. They will learn the importance of increasing the magnification incrementally and taking care when moving the stage.
With each different objective lens, students must make appropriate adjustments to the brightness. Finally students must use the stage controls to bring an area of interest into the centre of the field of view.
4. Estimating size
In this resource, students practice the steps involved in using a microscope to measure the size of objects seen down the microscope.
Students begin by first calculating the total magnification of a microscope when three different objective lenses are used in combination with a 10x ocular lens.
Next, students are guided through the process of calibrating an eyepiece graticule using a stage micrometer and using the graticule to measure the size of an onion epidermal cell.
After scaffolded practice, students will continue more independently with two other samples.
How to see them in action
If your university has already signed up to our bioscience library, you’ll find the microscope resources automatically added within the next couple of weeks. All new customers will find them included as standard within the library.
If you or any of your colleagues are involved in teaching labs which make use of light microscopes - contact us for a free trial. Just let us know what you’re interested in from the resource list.