I love microscopes. The obsession started when I was a junior in college. I landed this awesome job identifying rotifers and other tiny organisms in many water samples (the project compared these animal assemblages in the river upstream and downstream of a nuclear power plant).
It’s awe-inspiring to think that this whole world exists, with all its drama, too small for us to see. There are predators and prey, the struggle for survival, new life born and old life passing away – all without our knowledge. To me, it’s the same as looking on the vastness of the universe. Or maybe I just feel like Horton, hearing those Who’s. Either way, it’s a wonderful thing.
My Animal Diversity class will start in January, and we’ll be looking at the myriad of animals living in the soils, waters, and mosses of our very neighborhoods. To do that, we need microscopes!
If you’d like to join in the awesome world of microscopy, here are some suggested microscopes:
- My 1st Lab Microscope (kids microscope, but works well (w/Dr. L’s adaptations), small and lightweight) – $28.99 (DO NOT PAY MORE!!)
- Am-scope monocular compound microscope – $56
- TELMU monocular compound microscope (with cell phone attachment) – $84 (while the attachment makes things easier, you don’t need it. We’ll have a video for taking photos through any microscope)
- Ken-a-vision monocular compound microscope – $182
- Am-Scope B120C binocular compound microscope – $191
- Or any microscope that works best for you. The only thing is that we’ll use the ocular lens as a “dissecting microscope” attached to a phone (so no microscopes that ONLY have a screen or hookup to a screen).
Looking forward to a great semester!
UPDATE: This semester, a student sent a gorgeous set of videos taken with the TELMU model (link above). Since the microscope has 2 light sources (one above and one from below), she was able to take really amazing videos of a Planarian moving and feeding. The cell phone attachment helps too! I’m very impressed, especially with the <$100 price tag.