Sunday, December 14, 2014

Making a Laser Projection Microscope

We learned about this awesome project from The Happy Scientist (subscription required for this video). He gave a great, simple explanation about what to do, and we had no trouble getting it to work. And it was so cool! You can probably find other tutorials for this project online, also. (Yes. Here is one.)
Basically, what you're doing is creating a little loop in which a drop of water can be suspended by surface tension. The water acts like a lens for the laser light to shine through. The light is then projected onto a screen and, voila!, you can see tiny little microorganisms in the water. It is amazing. We used pond water to make sure there would be lots of life in it, and there was! We saw all types of different protazoa, flagellates, etc., with all types of movement going on. Some things zipped across the screen quickly, some sort of lurched along, others were definitely swimming. So cool! This is one of the most impressive activities we did this entire unit, and the children LOVED it. They wanted to show it to everyone who came to our house for the next several days.

It's hard to see anything very clearly in the picture above, but this video is really cool. You can see several organisms moving around in the drop of water, and observe the different ways they move. You should definitely try this project yourself!

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I really wish you weren't so awesome. Then I remember that the reason I like you so much is because you are so awesome. Then I tell myself life isn't a competition. Sigh.


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