Thursday, April 16, 2015

Daffodils, and Scalpels, and Magiscopes, Oh My!



The boys became very intimate with daffodils today.  Does anybody else feel bad when they say that daffodils have inferior ovaries?


Me Too labeling his daffodil parts

Yesterday I dissected and labeled the first daffodil.  Today the boys did their own with their own dissection kits.  It took some convincing to stop Me Too from going outside with his scalpel to cut his daffodil.  I told him that scissors would do the trick.  Our dissection tool sets are the 17-piece "Advanced Dissection Tools" from Home Science Tools.  I am not happy with the case.  It doesn't fit the tools well.  A lot of things are just shoved on top before you close the lid.  It does hold the scalpel and scissors nicely and safely and for that reason I would stick with this set again.  The "basic"  and "deluxe" sets have what look to be nicer cases BUT the scalpels are not housed safely and safety is the most important thing when you have a first grader using a scalpel.  Bear in mind that the "basic" set is not stainless steel and is the only set offered that will rust.  Their other sets are stainless.



Kal-El was so pleased with his dissection tools that he labeled his tools right along with his daffodil.  He did it without my help so I missed the opportunity to improve his vocabulary (and spelling).  Next time I'll have to let him know that his "poackers" (pokers) are called "teasing needles," his "nails" are really "pins," and his "tweezers" are "forceps."  My favorite part of his work is the "leftofers" section (leftovers).  Apparently he had some pieces left after he was done dissecting.


When they were finished we grabbed the Magiscope.  Without electricity or preparing slides were were able to get up close and personal with the parts of our daffodils.  In the photo above Kal-El was looking at the calyx.  I took a closer picture (below) so you could see how easy it was to throw this into any clear container (container only necessary in order to keep the lumirod clean) and put it on the deck.


Bulky item, no problem.  If an item is too large we can just remove the optical tube and use it without the stand.


I took a photo through the eyepiece with my iPad so you can see the calyx.  We have all the different lenses but haven't explored with anything beyond our 5x eyepiece and 4x objective (giving us 20x magnification).  If we used our 10x eyepiece and 40x objective we would have 400x magnification, enough to see bacteria, blood cells and protazoan.  Click here for more information on Magiscope lenses.



Me Too's favorite part was looking at the ovules in the ovary.  He loved this work and looked at every part of the daffodil under the Magiscope.  I learned something new today as well.  I learned that if I didn't want the vignette effect I could pinch zoom in.


This was just a part of our work today.  In order to keep myself blogging I thought I would try just posting some of our work instead of feeling like I need to show a whole day, week, or write a big post on a particular topic.  I hope to do those other things as well, but just not quite as often as I was.  


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