The students in my anatomy and physiology classes, as well as the biology classes, are incredibly eager learners. They come from very diverse backgrounds, have various abilities, and more than half come from low-income families. They all have limited experience with using higher end microscopes.
Their enthusiasm for science coupled with their curiosity is incredibly refreshing and makes this project so important.
The very picture that is my "classroom photo" was taken by a previous student of mine. Because of this particular lab (mitosis in onion cells), she ended up going to college to study biology. Prior to this lab, she had never intended to get into a science field.
At the beginning of the school year, I asked my current anatomy students why they were taking my class and what they were hoping to learn from it. Each and every one of them answered that they have a desire to enter a medical field. Some want to be physical therapists, others nurses, pediatricians, or veterinarians. These career paths all require extensive use of higher end microscopes.
Because my anatomy students all aspire to have a career in a medical field, they will need to be well versed in the science and art of microscopy. Right now, we have 5 higher end microscopes that a total of 50 students use. Up to 4 students can end up sharing a microscope at times. This makes it impossible for all students to properly learn the skills required to use a microscope and definitely lessens the time each student has with the microscope. It also makes the entire experience less enjoyable for students to have to keep waiting to share the microscope.
By helping to fund this project, you are helping future doctors, physicians, and veterinarians learn the skills required in their careers.
By getting a couple more microscopes, we can start to lower the student-to-microscope ratio. This will allow them more time with the specimens as well as more time to learn how to use the microscopes. When these students go off to college, they will not have to spend as much time learning how to use microscopes in the lab, but instead, can focus on the specimens as well as enjoying and learning the material.
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