Figure 2: Depository shelves with student microscope stands at Erie Community College. Courtesy of Mary Anne Silsby, Erie Community College, Buffalo, NY.

temperatures and humidity in the rooms change, specific coatings for microscope parts may prevent the growth of fungus and bacteria.

Microscope Construction Student microscopes go through many hands every day.

Since they will be used for many years, they should be con- structed to last. Tus, the design and construction should be examined carefully. Maintenance. Servicing the microscopes must be easy.

Educational microscopes must be easy to clean and maintain. When needed, an on-site service call should be available. Robustness. Microscopes should not be delicate in con-

struction. Teir bases should be planted firmly on the top of the workspace. Tey also should be well balanced and not wob- ble. In addition, they should have as few removable parts as possible to ensure the next student still has all the microscope parts at his or her disposal. Durability. It’s worth taking a look at the

materials the microscopes are manufactured from. Te longer microscopes show little wear and tear, the longer students will treat them with more care. Another scratch on a scratched surface matters less than the first scratch. A durable finish can be helpful. Smoothness. Moveable parts should

move smoothly without requiring force. Labeling. Well-labeled microscope parts

help students handle the microscopes properly as well as locate and use with confidence the few movable parts.

Having Fun Learning and Teaching Students learn best if they have fun doing

so. Microscopy classes have great potential to fascinate children and young adults because the world they see through the oculars is very different from what they see around them.

30 Figure 4: Student microscopes with diverse capabilities can suit different course levels of students. • 2019 May

Figure 3: Some cameras create their own Wi-Fi hotspot so that students can access images with their mobile devices or laptops.

Discovering this microcosm is an adventure. Two factors are crucial in promoting the fun factor: Usability. With only a few adjustments to the microscope,

students must be able to see something. Tis step is important, so that they will remain engaged and teachers will spend less time helping students adjust their instruments. Good labeling and few removable parts make these instruments easy to use. Great images. Te overall optical performance, including

the camera, is key to producing images with good contrast, resolution, and color. Good image quality enables students to discover a new world and stay interested.

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