Single image science lessons

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Single image science lessons

#1 Post by PeteM » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:43 am

I'm hoping for your help and ideas for a kids' (say 7-14 years old) science program.

Last year we ran a successful "Micronaut" program with our local Children's Museum of Discovery (MOD). Some pictures attached.

I also managed to buy and fix up 55 microscopes which were donated to the Museum this past December. The "MOD" will be selling those at around half used dealer prices to parents and keeping all the proceeds to fund various programs.

This year, I'd like to get kids and parents developing and sharing what might be called single image science lessons. The idea is to have a cool and compelling image and a bit of a science lesson that goes with it. For example, along with Rob's diatoms might go the story of how microalgae provide around half the world's oxygen.

I'm looking for your ideas.

As another example, I've cut up bits of a computer wafer to share (looks a bit like the streets of Manhattan from space). The lesson is the smaller the circuit, the faster the computer (and more on Moore's Law).

As still another example, a mixture of lecithin and water shows self organization much like the the origins of single-celled life.

If you're interested and want to PM your contact info, I can send a brief writeup with some examples. Any help, ideas, images, slide prep ideas, lessons learned with kids -- all will be very much appreciated.

I'm also hoping to find a 40x infinity phase lens (ideally Olympus BX) for some of the pond critter photo work. If anyone has an extra they'd like to trade for or sell for just the arm or leg part of "an arm and a leg" -- I'd appreciate knowing what you might need or want in return. Having head about 100 scopes pass through, there are lots of extra scopes and parts around, including some other decent lenses etc.
BobAndMicronauts.jpg (62.52 KiB) Viewed 1360 times
ALibarytoRoomOverview.jpg (117.71 KiB) Viewed 1360 times
Glenn512.jpg (81.3 KiB) Viewed 1360 times

Tom Jones
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Re: Single image science lessons

#2 Post by Tom Jones » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:49 am


Way cool!! :o There's not enough of this kind of outreach!! I love it!

I've done a bit, but the big shows are only a couple of days, once a year. Over 41,000 kids so far though since 2010. As you can probably tell, I like teaching the kids photomicrography with their cells phones, too. 8-)


I very much like the idea of integrating it with a children's museum, and the idea of "single image science lesson" is quite intriguing. I have lots of different specimens set up at my displays, so the idea is about the same. These are pretty high-throughput events though, so anything beyond a description next to the scopes and couple of questions is pretty hard to accommodate unless it's a relatively slow time.

I'll have to give your idea some thought. Off the top, I have a slide of a slice of a meteorite probably from the asteroid Vesta (Pasamonte, ASU197-A-6, if anyone cares) that even shows bubbles in the fusion crust from extreme heating during atmospheric entry. I have the scope set up with polarized light and a full wave plate, and a couple of pictures of Vesta next to the microscope. Given enough time, I like to give them a quick lesson in polarized light and it's use in identifying minerals, plus the physics of asteroids, collisions, and entering "space rocks" as well as the age of the solar system.

I also have a slide of a Body Louse collected in the trenches, in France, during WWI. Aside from the fact the kids sometimes scream :lol: when they see it, that can lead to a discussion of WWI, trench warfare, and the miserable, disease spreading conditions therein.


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Re: Single image science lessons

#3 Post by PeteM » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:06 am

Tom -- Your events look like a blast!

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Re: Single image science lessons

#4 Post by hkv » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:15 am

Fantastic work!

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