The Effectiveness of Dissecting Microscopes in the High School Biology Classroom

When it comes to our children’s learning, we want to be assured that they are receiving the best possible education available. High school delivers some of the most critical years for students who are deciding their next actions and planning towards their bright futures. That is why it is critical to ensure there is continually monitoring and developing of the curriculum, keeping up to date with the latest equipment available. Science is a subject in which children can make sense of the world in which they live and are able to apply theories in class for tangible results. Kinetic learners thrive in the lab because they are able to physically apply themselves to their education and absorb more information this way. One of the key pieces of equipment necessary in the high school biology classroom are definitely the dissecting microscopes. Dissecting microscopes have proven to be extremely effective among high school students who study biology.

In this post we are going to be taking a look at how to use a dissecting microscope, the associated advantages and disadvantages of the piece of equipment and much more. We hope that this article will prove useful for those of you endeavoring to find more information how the dissecting microscope proves so useful in the high school biology classroom.

What is a dissecting microscope?
A dissecting microscope enables the magnification and inspection of three-dimensional objects, rather than samples prepared on slides. It facilitates and provides the ability for students to get up close and personal with organisms that are otherwise not visible to the naked eye.

A diaphragm is typically found on higher-power microscopes versus less expensive or toy models. What a diaphragm on a microscope is the piece that enables the user to adjust the amount of light that is focused under the specimen being observed.

How does it work?
When it comes to dissecting microscope magnification, it is a complex process that allows the microscope to work. The actual power or magnification of a compound optical microscope is the product of the powers of the ocular (eyepiece) and the objective lens. The maximum normal magnifications of the ocular and objective are 10× and 100× respectively, giving a final magnification of 1,000×. There are not many disadvantages when it comes to a dissecting microscope, only a high value product capable of teaching biology students at a higher level than presently.

Classroom activities
As you can imagine, with the introduction of a new piece of equipment so many new opportunities present themselves in the form of classroom activities. Your biology students will be rushing into each class to get as much value out of using the dissecting microscope as possible.

When lesson planning, consider incorporating some of the following activities;
– Dissecting frog embryos.
– Looking at seed dispersion of strawberries and dandelions.
– Looking at the sponge as an example of classification of an invertebrate.
– Looking at pollen and exploring the process of bees.
– Comparison crystal formations – ionic and polar. – Looking at plant structures and exploring photosynthesis.

Each of these activities are perfectly suited for high school students and will result in successful experiments conducted within the biology classroom. 

Where can you buy a dissecting microscope?
If you think that a dissecting microscope would be a valuable addition to your biology classroom, we have just the solution available to you! The SmartMicroScope 5M handheld digital microscope with Gooseneck Stand is easy to use for even pre-school students.  The single focus dial allows students to explore hidden worlds all around us.  What does salt look like?  How are plant and animal cells alike and different?  What do insect eyes look like?  What lives in pond water?  The SmartMicroScope is a great discovery tool for all grades. The dissecting microscope price will shock you at how low it is, costing only $319! That is a small price to pay for the increased value of education for biology students!

As you can see, dissecting microscopes are highly effective tools and an absolute must have within any high school biology classroom! Not only does it bring a tangible and experimental element for kinetic learners but it physically involves the student’s participation and as such increases engagement in class.

Visit SmartSchool Systems to learn more.

David Walling

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