Thanks to a wonderful donation of microscopes from the University of Limerick earlier in the year, the focus last week in Science Hub was on all things tiny!
Microscopes are instruments that Scientists use to view things that are too small to be examined directly with the naked eye. The most normal looking, everyday objects are absolutely amazing when viewed under a microscope (see images below).
Most of the children who took part in the workshops last week said that this was the first time they had used a microscope so it was really great to give them the opportunity to do so.
The children collected samples from the grounds in the Learning Hub and prepared microscope slides. They then viewed these under the microscopes with some absolutely amazing results. Below are some photos of the samples we took.
When we had finished looking at the samples we collected from the grounds and around the lab, the children then took swab of their own cheek cells. We used methylene blue to stain these and then viewed them under the microscopes. Here is my own sample:
The small, dark blue spot in the middle of each cell is the nucleus. The lighter blue region directly around this is the cytoplasm and the line outlining the cytoplasm is the plasma membrane.
The workshop was a great success and everyone really enjoyed learning about and using the microscopes (including the adults!)