The Department of Materials in Oxford University in collaboration with SEEDA (South East England Development Agency) is working with schools in the regions to give teachers and pupils live access to a Scanning Electron Microscope. Microscopy can take the young into a microscopic world that can’t be seen with the naked eye. When 6- or 7-year-olds see ‘hundreds and thousands’ through a simple light microscope, or an ant or a fly or sugar magnified 20-fold, their eyes light up with excitement. However, by the time they reach senior school, the things that they are taught about the microscopic world are often out of reach, either because the light microscopes available to them aren’t up to the task, or because the topics of study are beyond the resolution of a normal school microscope. So lessons and assignments rely on textbook images, and the opportunity for hands-on discovery of the microscopic world, and the fascination that this can bring, is lost.
Oxford SEM tutorial http://websemserver.materials.ox.ac.uk/