Science Image Award

The Science Image Award is a friendly image competition for primary school children (age 8+). The pupils use a hand-held digital microscope (DinoLite) provided free-of-charge for two weeks to take images of biological samples (e.g. insects, plants…) that they have collected. The school then submits their best images to an annual competition.

The aim of the Science Image Award is to stimulate the scientific curiosity of the children by connecting the microscopic world to everyday life.

The winning school will be awarded a prize of a microscope with a digital camera (a kind gift of the competition sponsors Brunel Microscopes Ltd.) and a certificate signed by Dr Brad Amos, co-inventor of the laser scanning confocal microscope. Our favourite images will also be exhibited on the Microscope4Schools and LMB websites.


The Science Image Award is open to any primary schools in the Cambridgeshire area.

If your school would like to enter the ongoing competition please contact us.


Rules And Instructions For The Competition

Rules:

  1. Only images of biological samples can be entered (e.g. insects, plants…).
  2. The samples have to be collected by the pupils.
  3. Each school can enter a maximum of 10 images.
  4. The images should not be "retouched" with Photoshop or similar software.

TIPS:

The main criteria for the selection of the winning image will be quality and originality, so submitting diverse images of different biological samples will increase your chances of winning.

Instructions

The DinoLite digital microscope and the computer will be provided free-of charge by the LMB for two weeks. These items can be collected by the teacher at the LMB or can be left behind after an M4S school visit.

The school will not have to replace the microscope or computer, or pay for their repair if damage occurs, but this could compromise the competition so extreme care should be taken at all times:

  • The microscope and the computer should be stored in a safe place when not in use (e.g. in a lockable drawer).
  • The teacher will be responsible for handling the microscope and the computer; the children should not be allowed to do this on their own.

The DinoLite is a hand-held digital microscope with an incorporated camera and is very easy to use (download pdf instructions). It will be connected to a laptop computer that has the DinoLite software already installed. Brief training on how to use the DinoLite will be given when the microscope is collected.

How To Use The DinoLite

Viewing A Sample

  1. Turn on the laptop.
  2. Log on by clicking on the "User" icon (no password required).
  3. Place the DinoLite in the stand.
  4. Plug in the DinoLite into the laptop using the USB port on the left of the computer.
  5. Double-click the DinoXcope icon on the desktop to open the application.
  6. Place a sample on the base of the stand and position under the DinoLite's light.
  7. To focus move the position of the DinoLite by raising and lowering the holder on the stand by using the large focus wheel.
  8. You can change the magnification by gently turning the wheel on the DinoLite (following this you might need to readjust the focus).

Capturing An Image

  1. Click on the camera icon to the top left of the image window. The image is automatically saved in png format in a folder on the desktop with your school's name.
  2. Place your mouse over the image thumbnail on the left to type the name of the image. This information is also automatically saved.
  3. To take a new image, place your mouse over anything other than an existing thumbnail. This will take you to live image view, where you can again capture an image and label.
  4. To delete unwanted images, drag the thumbnail to the trash bin icon on the bottom right of the desktop.

Saving The Images For The Competition

  1. Once you have chosen your 10 favourite images to enter the image competition, please copy the original file to the Science Image Award folder on the desktop. Be sure to copy the files and not move the originals.
  2. Please name the copied file after the identity of the sample (e.g. flower, snail...) and if you wish include the surname of the pupil(s) who collected the sample.

You can download these instructions here (PDF) or for more detailed instructions please consult the detailed instructions (.doc).

For technical problems and questions please contact us