Microscopes are wonderful educational tools because they offer students hands-on experiences that bring textbook concepts to life. Because these instruments are vital to a student’s comprehensive learning experience, it’s important to choose the right kind of microscope when outfitting a classroom. A microscope will need to magnify things well, but must also be robust enough to withstand years of use by hundreds of students. Below are four key factors to consider when buying an educational microscope.
Type of Microscope
When choosing a new microscope for the classroom or educational lab, it will be necessary to consider the type of microscope your students will need. What will they be reviewing in class?
If they are looking at larger samples, a stereo zoom microscope could be a good choice for your students. This microscope is often used for biology dissections and examining rocks, minerals, plants, bones, and more. With a stereo microscope, students can get a 3D image of the sample they are studying.
A compound microscope (a.k.a. upright microscope) can be used for samples that the naked eye cannot see because it offers a higher magnification. Samples are prepared and mounted onto microscope slides before being viewed under the lens. Students often look at prepared slides of blood cells, bacteria, tissue, and parasites to save time and complexity of making their own slides.
For live samples such as living cells or organisms, students use inverted microscopes. These microscopes allow them to observe the samples in Petri dishes and other culture vessels. Unlike a compound microscope, the objective lens is located beneath the stage – this offers greater flexibility to accommodate dishes of various sizes.
If you’re still unsure which microscope is suitable for your educational application, you can also look at the size, weight, durability, and ease of use of the microscope to narrow down your choices.
The size of a student microscope is one of the essential features you’ll want to think about when buying a microscope. Most likely, students will be moving the microscopes from storage to their workspace and back every day. In this case, consider a model that is lightweight and compact enough to be transported and stored with ease.
Often, microscopes in educational environments are used by students having minimal experience with microscopes. For this reason you want to buy a microscope that can withstand bumps, movement, and bounces that are bound to occur. Look for safety features like fixed eyepieces, a locking pin for the observation head, and a focus lock that can help your students’ microscopes to last longer. Microscopes with metal bodies are generally more durable than lighter weight models with plastic features.
Ensure the microscopes you buy have high-quality optical components so students can visualize all the minor details of a sample. A microscope with a wide magnification range, such as zoom or multiple objectives, enables students to observe samples at multiple magnifications thereby providing context of the detailed structures to the larger specimen. Most newer microscopes offer LED illumination providing energy savings, long lamp life and crisp, even illumination.
Discover the Best Educational Microscope at ACCU-SCOPE
In any science class or student lab, microscopes are essential. With so many types of microscopes available, it can be challenging to narrow down the options while deciding which one to buy. Let the team at ACCU-SCOPE help you discover the best microscopes for your educational purposes. We offer a range of microscope types and accessories, including stereo microscopes, inverted microscopes, and microscope cameras. If you have any questions about our microscopes, reach out to us today!