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Public Lab Research note


Community Microscope Stage Assembly Instructions

by mimiss , Bronwen , liz , stevie , warren | August 28, 2019 16:09 28 Aug 16:09 | #20703 | #20703

The microscope stage holds the optics, the sensor, and the sample together in a fixed geometric relationship. We can use this simple stage to move the sample closer to and further away from the microscope lens to focus the image.

Materials

Community Microscope Kit Contents

You can purchase a Community Microscope Kit from the Public Lab Store or gather the materials yourself. Here's what you'll need to put together the Community Microscope stage:

  • Upper and lower stage*
  • 3 long bolts
  • 9 wing nuts
  • 6 washers
  • 2 rubber bands

*Stages from the Public Lab store may be made of different materials than those pictured here due to changes in stock.

Step 1

Step 1

Orient the lower stage (with rectangular cutouts) so that the smaller rectangle is on the right. Insert the three bolts into the stage. Secure with washers and wing nuts.

Step 2

Step 2

If you are using the webcam version of the Community Microscope Kit (Intro Version) attach the converted webcam (instructions here) to the lower stage. If you are using the Plus or Pi Kit, skip this step.

Insert the webcam power cable through the larger of the cutouts and pull the power cable through. Use the clip on the back of the webcam to clip the webcam to the lower stage.

Step 3

Step 3

Place two rubber bands around the upper stage (round cutout) in the grooves as shown.

Step 4

Step 4

Thread the bolts through the upper stage and place on top of webcam.

Step 5

Step 5

Put a washer and a wing nut on each of the long bolts. Don’t tighten past the microscope lens.

Step 6

Step 7

Add a wing nut to the top of each lng bolt. Leave the wing nuts perpendicular to the rubber bands.

Step 7

Step 7

Stretch the rubber bands over the wing nuts at the top of each bolt.

Start Using Your Microscope

Now you are ready to attach the microscope and start exploring the microscopic world. You'll need a computer to view the images from the microscope. Loosen and tighten the wing nuts in the middle to raise and lower the stage to focus the image.

Learn more about the Community Microscope and the ways that other Public Lab community members are using it at the Community Microscope Wiki.


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13 Comments

@mimiss has marked @warren as a co-author.

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@mimiss has marked @bronwen as a co-author.

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@mimiss has marked @stevie as a co-author.

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@mimiss has marked @liz as a co-author.

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This is really great, @mimiss! Love the dramatic ready-to-print monochrome, they look fantastic.

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Step 2 includes a parenthetical referencing webcam conversion instructions--but there is no actual link. I think this is the page with the needed instructions.

Thank you so much! I've added the link above as per your great catch! Great to meet you. What are you working on?

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@liz This was our fist time using the community microscope. We gifted a different microscope to our oldest child when she turned 5, but it was very difficult for her to use. In this photo we were looking at some prepared slides from the other microscope kit (apple peel, pollen, potato skin, etc.).

I am planning to write a grant for my middle school science classroom in the spring to purchase a class set of the community microscopes. Looking to do some microscopic crystallography with some polarized lenses. I'll write it up if the project is realized.


Hi @Porternick This sounds like an exciting initiative in your classroom. The microscope kits provide a unique opportunity to build upon multiple units within the Next Generation Science Standards. We have some great resources from our community members who have completed similar projects for middle school classrooms. Here one of our users was able to use lenses from 3d glasses to adapt their microscope kits. They also included some images they were able to capture from their experiment.


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My preschooler, 1st grader and I built the Intro Kit over the weekend. We had a blast! They loved using the wing nuts to focus the microscope and taking pictures of their work.

1.jpg

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Love this picture, thanks for sharing! What did you look at under the microscope?

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@bhamster Mostly prepared slides from a kids microscope kit.


@bhamster The kids also loved running outside and grabbing leaves and other debris they found in the backyard.

I'm drumming up some ideas for ways to use a set of these in my middle school science classes.


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