During the AIE summer “Kids’ University” we explored the use of microscopes in one of the science sessions. It was one of the best sessions. The sight of the microscopes made them really excited (the felt like real scientists!) and the kids started exploring the use of the microscopes which raised many questions. They asked how a microscope works and what they can see using it.
I showed them how to adjust the microscope. The children prepared onion cell slides for the first time ever. They were surprised to see the layers of hexagonal cells stained blue with methylene blue dye arranged in an orderly manner. Even the nuclei were clearly visible. They learnt to change the magnification powers. They learnt to use course and fine adjustments. They adjusted the mirror to focus the light on the slide.
Later the students prepared slides of samples of moss and fungus. They enjoyed observing different samples under the microscopes. It was a great learning experience for them as well as for me. Even the small kids of Grade-2 learnt to prepare slides and operated the microscopes and recorded their observations on the worksheets.
This reinforced for me the value of using hands-on and minds-on approaches for teaching science to promote students interest in this subject.