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A digital microscope for kids - any recommendations?

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John Oreopoulos John Oreopoulos
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A digital microscope for kids - any recommendations?

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Hello list server,

This is not a confocal question, but I figure the people here might have some good experience with this. I have a 7-year old nephew who says he wants to find a cure cancer someday. I figure the best Christmas gift for him this year would therefore be a decent children's microscope. My problem is that there seems to be hundreds of different kids microscope brands, some with just eyepieces, some that can be interfaced to a computer via USB, etc. Does anyone here have any recommendations for one model brand over another?

Ron Vale makes a good argument for having kids go straight to digital microscopes instead of using eyepieces (and many modern research grade microscopes don't require eyepieces either):

http://microscopy4kids.org/
http://microscopy4kids.org/webpage/pages/whydiglookma.html

My only issue with this is that my nephew does not have access to a computer of his own. I think what would be better is a kids microscope that hooks up to a television screen directly, and these do exist. For example:

http://www.bonpal.com/product/usb-microscope/bp-m8200t.html
(no commercial interest)

And the other great thing about a pocket TV microscope like that is that it has a built in LED light source. So, what do you think? This is isn't so different from when list server members ask for opinions on various confocal microscopes, is it? Commercial responses offline to me are welcome as well.

Thanks, and a happy upcoming winter holiday to all confocalists out there!


John Oreopoulos
Research Assistant
Spectral Applied Research
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Canada
www.spectral.ca
Nico Stuurman Nico Stuurman
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Re: A digital microscope for kids - any recommendations?

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Hi John and others,

In addition to the options you listed:

- Celestron has a microscope with build-in screen ( http://www.celestron.com/c3/product.php?CatID=81&ProdID=605 ).  No hook-up with TV or computer needed.  It can save images on a memory card. Real glass lenses, nicely build.  List is ~$300, but Costco had them for $200.  Celestron also has cheaper microscopes that hook up to a computer (at least some of which work with Micro-Manager;).

There is a real benefit of not having any screen whatsoever, since there are fewer parts to break.  Radio Shack has tiny little microscopes with build-in LED ( http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2179604 ).  ~$12.  They work alright, but my kids do not use them much (if at all).

The Brock Magiscope ( http://www.magiscope.com/ ) is on my christmas wishlist. It is a purely mechanical microscope (single eyepiece), always on, no batteries needed.  I imagine that a kid would have one of these in their room and be enticed to use it regularly since it is so easy to get going.  They had a lot of these at the San Francisco science fair a few weeks back and the image quality was amazingly good.  Also very rugged design that should be able to withstand abuse.  Starting price $125 (can add more optics later).  

Best,

Nico


> This is not a confocal question, but I figure the people here might have some good experience with this. I have a 7-year old nephew who says he wants to find a cure cancer someday. I figure the best Christmas gift for him this year would therefore be a decent children's microscope. My problem is that there seems to be hundreds of different kids microscope brands, some with just eyepieces, some that can be interfaced to a computer via USB, etc. Does anyone here have any recommendations for one model brand over another?
>
> Ron Vale makes a good argument for having kids go straight to digital microscopes instead of using eyepieces (and many modern research grade microscopes don't require eyepieces either):
>
> http://microscopy4kids.org/
> http://microscopy4kids.org/webpage/pages/whydiglookma.html
>
> My only issue with this is that my nephew does not have access to a computer of his own. I think what would be better is a kids microscope that hooks up to a television screen directly, and these do exist. For example:
>
> http://www.bonpal.com/product/usb-microscope/bp-m8200t.html
> (no commercial interest)
>
> And the other great thing about a pocket TV microscope like that is that it has a built in LED light source. So, what do you think? This is isn't so different from when list server members ask for opinions on various confocal microscopes, is it? Commercial responses offline to me are welcome as well.
>
> Thanks, and a happy upcoming winter holiday to all confocalists out there!
>
>
> John Oreopoulos
> Research Assistant
> Spectral Applied Research
> Richmond Hill, Ontario
> Canada
> www.spectral.ca
Glen MacDonald-2 Glen MacDonald-2
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Re: A digital microscope for kids - any recommendations?

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Hi John,
The Brock Magiscope mentioned by Nico is a nice durable design with good optics.  The plastic light pipe is very clever, just point it at any light source. It works tolerably well for macro samples.  The other approach for that age would be a simple dissecting scope.  It can use a variety of light sources with a wider range of samples, and the boy's clever uncle could arrange to transilluminate thin specimens.  Flexibility and durability are key at this age.  Go for a better quality compound scope when he is older.  

Regards,
Glen
Glen MacDonald
Core for Communication Research
Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center
Box 357923
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-7923  USA
(206) 616-4156
[hidden email]








On Dec 10, 2011, at 7:42 PM, John Oreopoulos wrote:

> *****
> To join, leave or search the confocal microscopy listserv, go to:
> http://lists.umn.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=confocalmicroscopy
> *****
>
> Hello list server,
>
> This is not a confocal question, but I figure the people here might have some good experience with this. I have a 7-year old nephew who says he wants to find a cure cancer someday. I figure the best Christmas gift for him this year would therefore be a decent children's microscope. My problem is that there seems to be hundreds of different kids microscope brands, some with just eyepieces, some that can be interfaced to a computer via USB, etc. Does anyone here have any recommendations for one model brand over another?
>
> Ron Vale makes a good argument for having kids go straight to digital microscopes instead of using eyepieces (and many modern research grade microscopes don't require eyepieces either):
>
> http://microscopy4kids.org/
> http://microscopy4kids.org/webpage/pages/whydiglookma.html
>
> My only issue with this is that my nephew does not have access to a computer of his own. I think what would be better is a kids microscope that hooks up to a television screen directly, and these do exist. For example:
>
> http://www.bonpal.com/product/usb-microscope/bp-m8200t.html
> (no commercial interest)
>
> And the other great thing about a pocket TV microscope like that is that it has a built in LED light source. So, what do you think? This is isn't so different from when list server members ask for opinions on various confocal microscopes, is it? Commercial responses offline to me are welcome as well.
>
> Thanks, and a happy upcoming winter holiday to all confocalists out there!
>
>
> John Oreopoulos
> Research Assistant
> Spectral Applied Research
> Richmond Hill, Ontario
> Canada
> www.spectral.ca
JOEL B. SHEFFIELD JOEL B. SHEFFIELD
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Re: A digital microscope for kids - any recommendations?

*****
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*****

I've been thinking about the digital vs eyepiece issue.  It is certainly
true that most imaging these days is done without eyepieces.  On the other
hand, the traditional view of a microscope, and the one that young children
certainly are exposed to is the one with a long tube and an eyepiece.  For
that reason, I think I would go with the magiscope.  I would add, though,
that in my own classes, for college students, before we had digital cameras
on the scopes, there were students who put their cellphones on the eyepiece
and captured images of variable quality.  Some of the 7-year olds I know
already have such phones --I know, I know, but there it is.

Joel


On Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 11:41 AM, Glen MacDonald
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> *****
> To join, leave or search the confocal microscopy listserv, go to:
> http://lists.umn.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=confocalmicroscopy
> *****
>
> Hi John,
> The Brock Magiscope mentioned by Nico is a nice durable design with good
> optics.  The plastic light pipe is very clever, just point it at any light
> source. It works tolerably well for macro samples.  The other approach for
> that age would be a simple dissecting scope.  It can use a variety of light
> sources with a wider range of samples, and the boy's clever uncle could
> arrange to transilluminate thin specimens.  Flexibility and durability are
> key at this age.  Go for a better quality compound scope when he is older.
>
> Regards,
> Glen
> Glen MacDonald
> Core for Communication Research
> Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center
> Box 357923
> University of Washington
> Seattle, WA 98195-7923  USA
> (206) 616-4156
> [hidden email]
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Dec 10, 2011, at 7:42 PM, John Oreopoulos wrote:
>
> > *****
> > To join, leave or search the confocal microscopy listserv, go to:
> > http://lists.umn.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=confocalmicroscopy
> > *****
> >
> > Hello list server,
> >
> > This is not a confocal question, but I figure the people here might have
> some good experience with this. I have a 7-year old nephew who says he
> wants to find a cure cancer someday. I figure the best Christmas gift for
> him this year would therefore be a decent children's microscope. My problem
> is that there seems to be hundreds of different kids microscope brands,
> some with just eyepieces, some that can be interfaced to a computer via
> USB, etc. Does anyone here have any recommendations for one model brand
> over another?
> >
> > Ron Vale makes a good argument for having kids go straight to digital
> microscopes instead of using eyepieces (and many modern research grade
> microscopes don't require eyepieces either):
> >
> > http://microscopy4kids.org/
> > http://microscopy4kids.org/webpage/pages/whydiglookma.html
> >
> > My only issue with this is that my nephew does not have access to a
> computer of his own. I think what would be better is a kids microscope that
> hooks up to a television screen directly, and these do exist. For example:
> >
> > http://www.bonpal.com/product/usb-microscope/bp-m8200t.html
> > (no commercial interest)
> >
> > And the other great thing about a pocket TV microscope like that is that
> it has a built in LED light source. So, what do you think? This is isn't so
> different from when list server members ask for opinions on various
> confocal microscopes, is it? Commercial responses offline to me are welcome
> as well.
> >
> > Thanks, and a happy upcoming winter holiday to all confocalists out
> there!
> >
> >
> > John Oreopoulos
> > Research Assistant
> > Spectral Applied Research
> > Richmond Hill, Ontario
> > Canada
> > www.spectral.ca
>



--


Joel B. Sheffield, Ph.D
Department of Biology
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Voice: 215 204 8839
e-mail: [hidden email]
URL:  http://astro.temple.edu/~jbs
Neeraj Gohad-2 Neeraj Gohad-2
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Re: A digital microscope for kids - any recommendations?

In reply to this post by Glen MacDonald-2
*****
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*****

Hi John,

While traveling I 'have always noticed these toy microscopes in the Sky Mall in-flight magazine.  If you go to www.skymall.com and search 'microscope' they have couple of them to choose from.

As always, no commercial interest!

Best,

Neeraj.

Neeraj V. Gohad, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
132 Long Hall
Clemson University
Clemson,SC-29634
Phone: 864-656-3597
Fax: 864-656-0435





-----Original Message-----
From: Confocal Microscopy List [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Glen MacDonald
Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011 11:41 AM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: A digital microscope for kids - any recommendations?

*****
To join, leave or search the confocal microscopy listserv, go to:
http://lists.umn.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=confocalmicroscopy
*****

Hi John,
The Brock Magiscope mentioned by Nico is a nice durable design with good optics.  The plastic light pipe is very clever, just point it at any light source. It works tolerably well for macro samples.  The other approach for that age would be a simple dissecting scope.  It can use a variety of light sources with a wider range of samples, and the boy's clever uncle could arrange to transilluminate thin specimens.  Flexibility and durability are key at this age.  Go for a better quality compound scope when he is older.  

Regards,
Glen
Glen MacDonald
Core for Communication Research
Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center Box 357923 University of Washington Seattle, WA 98195-7923  USA
(206) 616-4156
[hidden email]








On Dec 10, 2011, at 7:42 PM, John Oreopoulos wrote:

> *****
> To join, leave or search the confocal microscopy listserv, go to:
> http://lists.umn.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=confocalmicroscopy
> *****
>
> Hello list server,
>
> This is not a confocal question, but I figure the people here might have some good experience with this. I have a 7-year old nephew who says he wants to find a cure cancer someday. I figure the best Christmas gift for him this year would therefore be a decent children's microscope. My problem is that there seems to be hundreds of different kids microscope brands, some with just eyepieces, some that can be interfaced to a computer via USB, etc. Does anyone here have any recommendations for one model brand over another?
>
> Ron Vale makes a good argument for having kids go straight to digital microscopes instead of using eyepieces (and many modern research grade microscopes don't require eyepieces either):
>
> http://microscopy4kids.org/
> http://microscopy4kids.org/webpage/pages/whydiglookma.html
>
> My only issue with this is that my nephew does not have access to a computer of his own. I think what would be better is a kids microscope that hooks up to a television screen directly, and these do exist. For example:
>
> http://www.bonpal.com/product/usb-microscope/bp-m8200t.html
> (no commercial interest)
>
> And the other great thing about a pocket TV microscope like that is that it has a built in LED light source. So, what do you think? This is isn't so different from when list server members ask for opinions on various confocal microscopes, is it? Commercial responses offline to me are welcome as well.
>
> Thanks, and a happy upcoming winter holiday to all confocalists out there!
>
>
> John Oreopoulos
> Research Assistant
> Spectral Applied Research
> Richmond Hill, Ontario
> Canada
> www.spectral.ca
Kilgore, Jason-2 Kilgore, Jason-2
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Re: A digital microscope for kids - any recommendations?

In reply to this post by John Oreopoulos
*****
To join, leave or search the confocal microscopy listserv, go to:
http://lists.umn.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=confocalmicroscopy
*****

When I was in 5th grade, my mother bought a kid's microscope for me.  Had one eyepiece and was barely good enough quality for imaging much, and a nice wooden case.  Not digital, of course, but it opened a whole new world that led to the career I'm in.  I started with looking at pond scum.  :)  What a great gift.

Someday I'll surely do the same for my kids.  Sorry, I don't have one in particular to recommend, but I'd probably go with digital.  I'd avoid the pocket ones -- I have yet to be impressed with the few I've looked into.  Why make it harder for your nephew?  If a computer interface is required, you can get an older, used laptop for the purpose for pretty cheap these days.  (televisions are a lot less portable, after all).

Jason

Jason A. Kilgore
Technical Application Scientist
Molecular Probes Labeling and Detection Technologies
Cells Systems Division
 
T 1 800 955 6288 then option 4, then option 6,  or  541 335 0353 . F 541 335 0238
29851 Willow Creek Rd . Eugene . OR . 97402-9132 . United States
www.invitrogen.com/technicalsupport

 



-----Original Message-----
From: Confocal Microscopy List [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of John Oreopoulos
Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2011 7:42 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: A digital microscope for kids - any recommendations?

*****
To join, leave or search the confocal microscopy listserv, go to:
http://lists.umn.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=confocalmicroscopy
*****

Hello list server,

This is not a confocal question, but I figure the people here might have some good experience with this. I have a 7-year old nephew who says he wants to find a cure cancer someday. I figure the best Christmas gift for him this year would therefore be a decent children's microscope. My problem is that there seems to be hundreds of different kids microscope brands, some with just eyepieces, some that can be interfaced to a computer via USB, etc. Does anyone here have any recommendations for one model brand over another?

Ron Vale makes a good argument for having kids go straight to digital microscopes instead of using eyepieces (and many modern research grade microscopes don't require eyepieces either):

http://microscopy4kids.org/
http://microscopy4kids.org/webpage/pages/whydiglookma.html

My only issue with this is that my nephew does not have access to a computer of his own. I think what would be better is a kids microscope that hooks up to a television screen directly, and these do exist. For example:

http://www.bonpal.com/product/usb-microscope/bp-m8200t.html
(no commercial interest)

And the other great thing about a pocket TV microscope like that is that it has a built in LED light source. So, what do you think? This is isn't so different from when list server members ask for opinions on various confocal microscopes, is it? Commercial responses offline to me are welcome as well.

Thanks, and a happy upcoming winter holiday to all confocalists out there!


John Oreopoulos
Research Assistant
Spectral Applied Research
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Canada
www.spectral.ca
Cammer, Michael Cammer, Michael
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Re: A digital microscope for kids - any recommendations?

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*****

When I taught elementary school in 2008-09 the science teacher across the hall had a few of the http://magiscope.com/model70.htm 

I brought in slides of darkly stained neurons.  Also, the 4th graders looked at pond scum.  With a small lamp shining on the Plexiglas or by putting the microscope up near a window with the shades pulled down so that there was light on the base but very little coming into the room overall, the images were excellent.  Far better than the microscope in the wood case that my parents gave me when I was a kid which was frustrating then and when I looked at it recently I understood why (I just threw it out http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcammer/4509667646/ ).  

Also, I brought in an old fixed tube length 20X Nikon objective and it fit the threads on the magiscope.

Another option is if you can get an old one of these.  A few years ago I got this freebie http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcammer/3229161177/ which works well with a camera against one of the eyepieces.  Not as high power, but fun for kids as pictured.

-Michael C

________________________________________________________
Michael Cammer, Assistant Research Scientist
Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine
Lab: (212) 263-3208  Cell: (914) 309-3270



-----Original Message-----
From: Confocal Microscopy List [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Kilgore, Jason
Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011 12:55 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: A digital microscope for kids - any recommendations?


When I was in 5th grade, my mother bought a kid's microscope for me.  Had one eyepiece and was barely good enough quality for imaging much, and a nice wooden case.  Not digital, of course, but it opened a whole new world that led to the career I'm in.  I started with looking at pond scum.  :)  What a great gift.

Someday I'll surely do the same for my kids.  Sorry, I don't have one in particular to recommend, but I'd probably go with digital.  I'd avoid the pocket ones -- I have yet to be impressed with the few I've looked into.  Why make it harder for your nephew?  If a computer interface is required, you can get an older, used laptop for the purpose for pretty cheap these days.  (televisions are a lot less portable, after all).

Jason

Jason A. Kilgore
Technical Application Scientist
Molecular Probes Labeling and Detection Technologies
Cells Systems Division
 
T 1 800 955 6288 then option 4, then option 6,  or  541 335 0353 . F 541 335 0238
29851 Willow Creek Rd . Eugene . OR . 97402-9132 . United States
www.invitrogen.com/technicalsupport

 


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I would certainly not ignore traditional optical microscopes, particularly if can, as I suspect you might, pick up a passably good second-hand one on eBay .. if second-hand is tolerable for a Christmas present.

I rather suspect that most of the digital cameras I see come out of the same factory in China, so I wonder how much of the price differences are due to costs and how much due to markup and `to be credible'.

I needed to do some electronics assembly at home and thought I'd try a low-cost digital on the basis I had little to lose. I bought one of these from a local shop: http://www.maplin.co.uk/usb-digital-microscope-with-400x-magnification-286566 there are similar ones all around the web.

I'm sceptical about how they measure the magnification range. I rather suspect it's done at, say, 300dpi, because Iseemed to need much more magnification than I expected to do what I wanted.

For my purposes it wasn't really successful, as it was difficult ro work under it, either getting viewing angle right for tools, or for the amount of space available for those tools. But for pond scum, bugs, plant fibres, and so on, I think it would work well.

The stand on this one is pretty poor. I'd spend more for a more useable stand.

Kind regards,
                   Gordon.
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Re: A digital microscope for kids - any recommendations?

In reply to this post by Nico Stuurman
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Following on from others who have posted with similar recommendations and
comments:

A video microscope is a good idea for a 7 year old. Young children can have
real problems focussing down a microscope, so in many respects the old £80
PC based USB2 Digital Blue QX-5 [an updated version of the USB Intel QX-3]
was better for them, as despite the poor VGA image quality it was easy to
view on the PC screen, looked like a neat toy [because it was], and it had a
few fun options like a detachable camera tube and time-lapse capability.
However the QX-5 is obsolete now for camera and software, and not worth
buying. Digital Blue were thinking of introducing the QX-7 video microscope
that has 1024x1024 resolution and glass lenses, and that might appear in
2012 [it was slated for Xmas 2011]. Otherwise a cheap mono dissecting
microscope is a good buy for under tens, as it's ideal for insects, small
house stuff and pond life Younger kids can have real problems focussing with
a stereo dissecting microscope, so mono versions are made for primary
schools. However a decent magnifying glass can serve almost as well, and
they cost pennies from eBay. Although I loved my little toy compound
microscope as a kid and still have it, it was used very infrequently as
sadly it only came with one slide :'frogs blood', and it's image quality was
worse than the QX-5. Digital microscopes main problem is that the video
camera is often too fuzzy for live samples that move about, and it becomes
obsolete so quickly - although young kids will get bored of it long before
that anyway once they have tried everything, done everything, although they
can have a lot of fun with them initially. Talk to people who supply
schools/homes and colleges via their website support as they know their
video cameras, microscopes and young customers - I'm used to the UK schools
sector.  

I have written a simple pdf on buying a cheap microscope for home use [based
on similar discussions many years ago on the microscopy.com listserver]:
http://www.well.ox.ac.uk/_asset/file/buying-a-cheap-microscope-for-home.pdf
and it has links to other sites specifically discussing microscopes for
kids.

It's on our "Optical Microscope Enthusiast Sites" section of
http://www.well.ox.ac.uk/external-website-links

A compound microscope is more suited to teenagers and young adults, but they
need a lot of decent samples to view and a reasonable quality microscope -
for them get the microscope either second hand or a decent 'schools' model.
I've tried buying prepared slides created for schools and the quality was
pretty poor, so I've amassed a selection of slides I've either made myself
[animal fur, fibres, peacock feathers, beach sand, volcanic ash, crystals]
or vintage Victorian slides from eBay that can be of very high quality [that
cost around £5 to £10 each, e.g. I have the stem of the hop, the cricket
gizzard, a bed Bug, cocoon of the tiger moth, Polycystina/Diatoms, etc..].
Plus you can get 'micro-fossils' sand from eBay that have microscopic snail
shells and coral fragments, so using a slide/coverslip they can prepare
there own specimens - although these do really benefit from a microscope
with phase contrast. Compound microscopes can view small living things like
dust mites collected from carpet edges using Sellotape [they actually look
quite cute and move slowly on the sticky stuff] or dead insects [e.g.
compound eye and wings]. I also have a few 'micro-photographs' in the style
of JB Dancer, although mine are 1990s reproductions. If you have Photoshop
Elements 9 or CS4 you can get older kids to stitch together multiple fields
to recreate the entire tissue section [which they seem to quite enjoy doing
once or twice - they are just learning techniques]. My microscope sample
collection is aimed at A level schoolkids [age 16-18].

Regards

Keith

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dr Keith J. Morris,
Molecular Cytogenetics and Microscopy Core,
Laboratory 00/069 and 00/070,
The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics,
Roosevelt Drive,
Oxford  OX3 7BN,
United Kingdom.

Telephone:  +44 (0)1865 287568
Email:  [hidden email]
Web-pages: http://www.well.ox.ac.uk/molecular-cytogenetics-and-microscopy

-----Original Message-----
From: Confocal Microscopy List [mailto:[hidden email]] On
Behalf Of Nico Stuurman
Sent: 11 December 2011 18:50
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: A digital microscope for kids - any recommendations?

*****
To join, leave or search the confocal microscopy listserv, go to:
http://lists.umn.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=confocalmicroscopy
*****

Hi John and others,

In addition to the options you listed:

- Celestron has a microscope with build-in screen (
http://www.celestron.com/c3/product.php?CatID=81&ProdID=605 ).  No hook-up
with TV or computer needed.  It can save images on a memory card. Real glass
lenses, nicely build.  List is ~$300, but Costco had them for $200.
Celestron also has cheaper microscopes that hook up to a computer (at least
some of which work with Micro-Manager;).

There is a real benefit of not having any screen whatsoever, since there are
fewer parts to break.  Radio Shack has tiny little microscopes with build-in
LED ( http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2179604 ).
~$12.  They work alright, but my kids do not use them much (if at all).

The Brock Magiscope ( http://www.magiscope.com/ ) is on my christmas
wishlist. It is a purely mechanical microscope (single eyepiece), always on,
no batteries needed.  I imagine that a kid would have one of these in their
room and be enticed to use it regularly since it is so easy to get going.
They had a lot of these at the San Francisco science fair a few weeks back
and the image quality was amazingly good.  Also very rugged design that
should be able to withstand abuse.  Starting price $125 (can add more optics
later).  

Best,

Nico


> This is not a confocal question, but I figure the people here might have
some good experience with this. I have a 7-year old nephew who says he wants
to find a cure cancer someday. I figure the best Christmas gift for him this
year would therefore be a decent children's microscope. My problem is that
there seems to be hundreds of different kids microscope brands, some with
just eyepieces, some that can be interfaced to a computer via USB, etc. Does
anyone here have any recommendations for one model brand over another?
>
> Ron Vale makes a good argument for having kids go straight to digital
microscopes instead of using eyepieces (and many modern research grade
microscopes don't require eyepieces either):
>
> http://microscopy4kids.org/
> http://microscopy4kids.org/webpage/pages/whydiglookma.html
>
> My only issue with this is that my nephew does not have access to a
computer of his own. I think what would be better is a kids microscope that
hooks up to a television screen directly, and these do exist. For example:
>
> http://www.bonpal.com/product/usb-microscope/bp-m8200t.html
> (no commercial interest)
>
> And the other great thing about a pocket TV microscope like that is that
it has a built in LED light source. So, what do you think? This is isn't so
different from when list server members ask for opinions on various confocal
microscopes, is it? Commercial responses offline to me are welcome as well.
>
> Thanks, and a happy upcoming winter holiday to all confocalists out there!

>
>
> John Oreopoulos
> Research Assistant
> Spectral Applied Research
> Richmond Hill, Ontario
> Canada
> www.spectral.ca
Elaine Humphrey Elaine Humphrey
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Re: A digital microscope for kids - any recommendations?

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Hi All
to add to this thread

the Microscopy Society of America Project Micro website has lots of advice
Project MICRO: http://www.microscopy.org/education/projectMICRO

and the Microscopy-UK website
http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/index2.html

and the RMS website
http://www.rms.org.uk/outreach

Elaine



--
Dr. Elaine C. Humphrey
STEHM Technologist and Lab Manager
Bob Wright Science Centre A015
Advanced Microscopy Facility
University of Victoria, Canada

Lab: 250-853-3968
cell: 250-886-2068
website: http://www.stehm.uvic.ca
Neeraj Gohad-2 Neeraj Gohad-2
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Here is one more, a talking microscope, it looks more like a toy but might be appropriate for 5-6 year olds.

http://store.discovery.com/spark-talking-microscope/detail.php?p=86191&v=discovery-kids_toys-games_by-subject_science-toys 


Best,

Neeraj.

Neeraj V. Gohad, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
132 Long Hall
Clemson University
Clemson,SC-29634
Phone: 864-656-3597
Fax: 864-656-0435


-----Original Message-----
From: Confocal Microscopy List [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Neeraj Gohad
Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011 12:11 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: A digital microscope for kids - any recommendations?

*****
To join, leave or search the confocal microscopy listserv, go to:
http://lists.umn.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=confocalmicroscopy
*****

Hi John,

While traveling I 'have always noticed these toy microscopes in the Sky Mall in-flight magazine.  If you go to www.skymall.com and search 'microscope' they have couple of them to choose from.

As always, no commercial interest!

Best,

Neeraj.

Neeraj V. Gohad, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
132 Long Hall
Clemson University
Clemson,SC-29634
Phone: 864-656-3597
Fax: 864-656-0435





-----Original Message-----
From: Confocal Microscopy List [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Glen MacDonald
Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011 11:41 AM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: A digital microscope for kids - any recommendations?

*****
To join, leave or search the confocal microscopy listserv, go to:
http://lists.umn.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=confocalmicroscopy
*****

Hi John,
The Brock Magiscope mentioned by Nico is a nice durable design with good optics.  The plastic light pipe is very clever, just point it at any light source. It works tolerably well for macro samples.  The other approach for that age would be a simple dissecting scope.  It can use a variety of light sources with a wider range of samples, and the boy's clever uncle could arrange to transilluminate thin specimens.  Flexibility and durability are key at this age.  Go for a better quality compound scope when he is older.  

Regards,
Glen
Glen MacDonald
Core for Communication Research
Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center Box 357923 University of Washington Seattle, WA 98195-7923  USA
(206) 616-4156
[hidden email]








On Dec 10, 2011, at 7:42 PM, John Oreopoulos wrote:

> *****
> To join, leave or search the confocal microscopy listserv, go to:
> http://lists.umn.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=confocalmicroscopy
> *****
>
> Hello list server,
>
> This is not a confocal question, but I figure the people here might have some good experience with this. I have a 7-year old nephew who says he wants to find a cure cancer someday. I figure the best Christmas gift for him this year would therefore be a decent children's microscope. My problem is that there seems to be hundreds of different kids microscope brands, some with just eyepieces, some that can be interfaced to a computer via USB, etc. Does anyone here have any recommendations for one model brand over another?
>
> Ron Vale makes a good argument for having kids go straight to digital microscopes instead of using eyepieces (and many modern research grade microscopes don't require eyepieces either):
>
> http://microscopy4kids.org/
> http://microscopy4kids.org/webpage/pages/whydiglookma.html
>
> My only issue with this is that my nephew does not have access to a computer of his own. I think what would be better is a kids microscope that hooks up to a television screen directly, and these do exist. For example:
>
> http://www.bonpal.com/product/usb-microscope/bp-m8200t.html
> (no commercial interest)
>
> And the other great thing about a pocket TV microscope like that is that it has a built in LED light source. So, what do you think? This is isn't so different from when list server members ask for opinions on various confocal microscopes, is it? Commercial responses offline to me are welcome as well.
>
> Thanks, and a happy upcoming winter holiday to all confocalists out there!
>
>
> John Oreopoulos
> Research Assistant
> Spectral Applied Research
> Richmond Hill, Ontario
> Canada
> www.spectral.ca
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