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ODA Students Peer into the World of Microscopy

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Middle School students at The Out-of-Door Academy had their first scientific look at cells and structures during an exciting unit focused on microscopes. The unit lead by Mr. Fernando Azcona, teaches how the invention of the microscope helped in the creation of the science of biology, and walks each class through the anatomy of the microscope and how to properly use the equipment in order to observe different types of cells and structures. By supplying every student with their own microscope, each budding scientist has ample opportunity to practice preparing and observing their own specimen.

Students remarked on the details they were able to see, and how different the everyday samples appeared under high magnification versus with the naked eye. “I loved seeing how sand appeared under 40x magnification,” volunteered Shreya Nair ’28. “It looked a lot like ice, it was so reflective–I hadn’t expected that. This is incredibly interesting, I want to look at insects and bacteria next to learn more about their structures.”

"The skills our seventh graders learn when using the microscopes for the first time will benefit them when they move to the Upper School and take ninth grade biology as well as advanced science courses,” said Mr. Azcona. “After completing this unit, students will be familiar with the safety and handling of the equipment, proper use and functionality, and the importance of recording precise observations. The advantage they gain from having a detailed, hands-on learning experience while utilizing this important science tool is unquestionable, and it is my goal to make it a Middle School experience they'll benefit from forever."

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