We love STEM here, so what better way to engage in some environmental science and look at biodiversity, ecology and pollution, than to slip samples from our local area under a microscope and get the kids’ creative juices flowing. At our EcoClubs we aim to inspire and inform our eco-warriors on all matters to do with the environment, from our core activities of plastic pollution to ecology and organisms.
Back in the summer, with the sun high in the sky and the abundance of beautiful flowers being visited by an incredible display of bumblebees, we set about adding to our children’s skill set and cracked open a brand new DIY microscope building kit. With the aim to create more mini budding engineers in the bio and environmental field, we set to work with our BYO (Build Your Own) microscope. Surely, we could do it with only 32 pieces and a recommended age range of 8 plus! With a gang of kids collecting items they would like to look at under the microscope, leaves, petals, a plastic nurdle, a bumblebee’s wing, pollen, Mr 10 in EcoClub began his build.
Fast forward 45 minutes and he’s nearly done. Now all that’s left is the smaller more fiddly parts of the actual magnification section and little eyes will see all. We had several mini scientists begging to look and asking, ‘is it done yet!’ the whole way through but yes after just one hour it was ready and obviously Mr 10 was the first to use it. He chose the bumblebee wings to have a close-up look. Cue a little wiggle of the focus and the lighting up of bright eyes and a huge smile.
The only problem was that we didn’t have more! All 15 children wanted a look and so we had to make sure the microscope was ready for them the next week when they came back. Our collections for viewing were saved up and the microscope stood in pride of place in the barn for the whole week ready for its scientists to come back to the next EcoClub and explore more of our natural world.
Up next for us is some mini beast kits. Watch this space.
So why did we choose this microscope kit?
Well, firstly it’s all made from sustainable cardboard and there’s not a bit of plastic packaging in view. They need no glue and are designed and made in the UK to inspire young minds on STEM. Basically, they ticked all our boxes.
Where can you get one?
Want your mini eco-warrior or scientist to join in our next EcoClub sessions?
That’s an easy one, just pop over to our website and see what classes are running, where and when. www.finalstrawfoundation.org. Please note that we are following current guidelines and clubs are subject to change depending on government restrictions.