The cost of 5 Digital Blue QX5 Microscopes (from Delta Education) is $604, including shipping and <a target="new" href="http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm" onclick="g_openWindow('http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.
Wow! I just received my students' standardized test scores from this spring, and they are fantastic. Using technology and inquiry-based science (we "threw out" our textbooks) this past year, my eighth grade Earth & Space Science students increased an average of 3.5% in process skills and 4% in content knowledge on a standardized test that anticipates 2-3% average growth for the year. Not only am I extremely proud of them, but I am also convinced that the methods I used this year are successful, engaging, and just plain more fun for students.
With this in mind, I have been assigned some seventh grade classes for next year in addition to my eighth grade classes due to schedule and personnel changes. I am somewhat short on hands-on activities at this point for Life Sciences (SC's seventh grade content emphasis), but I am working diligently to change this fact. I currently have five internet-connected inquiry stations in my classroom and would like to add a Digital Blue QX3 Digital Microscope to each inquiry station for the study of microscopic organisms in addition to making our own slides. By using the QX3 connected to the computers, students can capture images of organisms, import them into programs on the computers, and manipulate the images in such ways as to compare them, label the parts of them, and create montages of different types of the same organism. Experiencing microscopy in this fashion will be far more exciting, engaging, and memorable for students and could even lead to developing the next Jonas Salk.
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