The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology’s Isabel Torres, Simon Bullock and Phil Banks have developed a new website to help children, teachers and parents set up activities with microscopes, without breaking the bank.
The website builds on the success of the Microscopes4Schools outreach programme, which provides classroom activities for primary school children (ages 8+), run by volunteer scientists from the LMB.
‘By going out to primary schools and the Cambridge Science Festival we’ve shown that introducing children to the microscopic world is a great way of sparking an interest in science’, says Isabel. ‘That’s why we decided to bring together all of the learning and expertise from our outreach activities into the Microscopes4Schools website.’
The new website provides a host of practical and inspirational information to help teachers and families to purchase and use affordable, good quality microscopes. The site also describes activities that can be performed easily, such as seeing banana cells, live water fleas and even cells and bacteria from one’s own mouth.
Simon says “I hope the website will not only be a valuable resource for teachers, families and children, but will also encourage scientists to initiate their own outreach activities with microscopes.”
The Microscopes4Schools website is jointly funded by the Medical Research Council and the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine.