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Back Digital Microscope and Training

Photo: Cell Divison
Cell division in a developing white fish embryo. The black structures toward the center of the cells are the chromosomes.

A microscope helps you explore a whole world that is invisible to the naked eye. A digital microscope improves on that by allowing you to capture the images you see through the lens -- both still images and full-motion video -- and share them with others.

A grant from the Brighton Education Fund allowed the BHS Science Department to purchase its first digital microscope. The purchase included all required software as well as a hands-on training class provided by the microscope's supplier, Ward's Natural Science in Rochester.

Photo: Kim Ward and the equipment
Kim Ward demonstrates the new digital microscope to the science department staff

The microscope looks just like a monocular optical microscope, but it has a digital image sensor in the head, just behind the eyepiece. The sensor captures images seen through the microscope's optics, which operate at up to 400 power. The microscope is tethered to a computer, which is used to capture and display the images. From the computer, the images can be stored, replayed, viewed on a monitor, or projected for an entire classroom using a digital projector.

Kim Ward, BHS biology team coordinator, assembled the grant application and went through the training. She came back to school excited about the technology and ready to put the microscope to work in her classroom. She is working with other teachers to share her new knowledge and explore a variety of ways to put the microscope to work.

Movie Preview Image
Click here to download a full-motion video clip captured by BHS's new digital microscope
Note: Windows Media Player software required

The 300 students annually in BHS's Living Environment course and the 80 AP Biology students will have an opportunity to capture images of specimens using the digital microscope. In addition, the microscope can be used to see and capture select chemical reactions such as those which produce a precipitate.

The Brighton Education Fund is proud to help teachers create a more exciting learning environment by incorporating new technology like this digital microscope.

story by Jim Kane
photos by Gretchen Shafer and Jim Kane
microscopic images provided by Kim Ward and Maria Ritter

February 7, 2003

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