Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Microscope memories

Today we got out Hermione's microscope. We also got out the microscope which I had as a child. At the risk of sounding very old I will say, 'they don't make things like they used to.' I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing though.

This is the one I had as a child. A rather robust but basic piece of equipment which sadly has a lens missing so can't be used now. Still in remarkable condition for it's age (must be coming up to about thirty years old).

This is a slide I found in the box which I had prepared at some point. I must look at this in future years if I start to get pernickity about the children's spellings.

The kit that came with mine was still pretty much complete. I recall removing specimens from the jars as a child but thankfully I'd returned them once I had examined them. There are all kinds of things in there - dead bees, ant eggs, larvae, wings - all sorts. There are also dyes and preserving chemicals in small glass phials which have labels saying, 'DANGER do not drink'. Can you imagine this sort of thing in a basic microscope kit for children now? I can't.

This is Hermione's microscope. It does the job but is of much more flimsy construction even thought it wasn't particularly cheap. I doubt somehow it will be around for her children should she have any in thirty years time.

With the benefit of new equipment and old samples we examined red onion skin, cat fur, human hair, flower pollen and a locusts wing. I yet to figure out how to make up a slide with non flat specimens when the bottom of the microscope must be tilted to catch the light. I know, I should be ashamed of myself but I'm not. Education is an all inclusive process here, not only for children. I'm learning all the time and by and large having lots of fun in the process.


Linda @ The Briar Patch said...

Hermione's microscope looks very similar to the one the boys have.

It's a shame about the things kids can't do now isn't it? The government go on and on about how us parents are over protecting them yet they take away all the 'risks' children used to be exposed to anyway.

Beats me...


Wobblymoo said...

We have an old microscope we managed to pick up at a carboot which has all the chemicals but must be in between yours and Hermiones as the mocroscope itself is not fantastic.

Claire said...

Yeah, there is a bit of a conflict there isn't there - criticisms of 'paranoid parenting' yet it seems everything comes with a government health warning!

The cynic in me would say it's nothing to do with promoting safety per se and everything to do with defensive strategies to avoid ever being sued. Ho hum. So is life it now seems.