Alumni donation funds digital microscopes for Le Roy High School
From Science teachers Sherri Lovria and Mike Chiulli:
Science classes at Le Roy Jr. Sr. High School have current technology available to them. Digital microscopes provide students with an easier and more accurate way to view the microscopic world. Digital microscopes contain cameras for easy viewing through a software interface.
Images visible through the eyepiece are accurately viewed on a computer allowing for students to view specimen together so they can collaborate on identification and analysis. Images can be captured and saved as still photos or as videos.
Thanks to an alumni technology donation, a classroom set of digital microscopes are being used by students in Sherri Lovria and Mike Chiulli’s Living Environment, AP Biology and Infectious Disease classes to explore and more easily observe the natural world. For example: the process of osmosis in onion cells; cell structure comparison; cyclosis in elodea; microscopic organisms in pond water; chromosome spreads from HeLa cancer cells to identify abnormal chromosomes; simple stains of bacterial smears and Gram stain results to identify bacteria; sickle-shaped red blood cells to detect the presence of malaria parasite; human cell comparison due to gene expression; and Daphnia as a model to design and perform experiments to detect environmental effects on organisms.
Students have found the microscopes to be much easier to manipulate. Mrs. Lovria’s Living Environment classes recently performed a lab investigation that introduced the microscopes to the students. Students were gathered around laptops and adjusted fields of view to follow the progress of several microscopic pond organisms as the organisms fed on algae and detritus.
The students were fully engaged in exploring the microscopic world with exclamations of “Whoa, look at that!”, “Oh, this one is different,” and “That one is really weird -- it’s a vorticella!” throughout the classroom.
For many years students were unenthused about using microscopes; it was an individual experience and not always one in which all students actively engaged. In addition, since only one person could view a specimen at a time, teachers were not sure of the students’ understanding of what they were observing.
Having this more up to date technology is a definite benefit. Because the students enjoy working with them they use the microscope for longer periods of time and Mrs. Lovria reports that they already have a better understanding of the microscope parts and functions. But, just as important, they are finding their curiosity to explore!
From Principal Tim McArdle:
"We are very fortunate to have a community that supports our endeavors in the classroom and beyond!"
"Our teachers are always ready and take great pride in implementing new and exciting opportunities for our students. I cannot thank them enough for their efforts and willingness to learn and grow professionally to better our students."
Photos submitted by Tim McArdle.