Posts of the Category: Labwork
This category contains posts with labwork that can be done in a school.
Permanent slides of pollen grains can be used as a reference for identifying unknown pollen samples. It is therefore important, that the pollen grains remain in an authentic, natural shape. The preparation and mounting of the pollen can introduce artifacts: the pollen may lose some of its pigment, start to shrink and shrivel or absorb [...]
Mounting media are needed for making permanent slides. The mounting medium holds the specimens in place between the cover slip and the slide. The choice of the right mounting medium is a separate topic all on its own. There are countless commercial and home-made mounting media available. Which ones should one use? In many cases [...]
There are numerous different mounting media available for making permanent slides. What factors determine the choice of the mounting medium? Here are some possible points to consider. Toxicity: Solvent-based mounting media (such as Eukitt and Canada Balsam) require the specimen to be in xylene prior to embedding. This substance is toxic. Other mounting media, such [...]
Here is yet another link to an article from Popular Science magazine. It deals with the isolation, fixing and staining of bacteria. I would not recommend the use of some of the solvents that they use (such as xylol) with children, however. They also describe a blood smear preparation, what I do not recommend for [...]
I found an article in Popular Science Magazine (see link below) which gives a general overview of different stains that can be used in microscopy. The article divides the stains into three categories: Common household chemicals: this includes Iodine, for example. They are very readily available. Substances used mostly for microscopy: Methylene blue, Hematoxyline, and [...]
Are you looking for simple microscopy projects for classrooms? Here is a list of ideas. Do not forget about safety measures!
It may be necessary to grow large amounts of green algae (and other microorganisms) to be used for microscopic observations in schools. A soil culture allows you to enrich various types of algae.
Potato starch grains are an ideal for observation in polarized light and in dark-field. Sample preparation is simple and straight-forward.