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Top Notch ‘Take Home’ Science Equipment
SHP students gain access to professional microscopes to enhance learning
The weekly bundles of take-home materials got a recent upgrade when students in SHP science teacher Diane Sweeney’s AP Biology course were able to check out professional lab equipment: Leica microscopes.
“Cutting edge research equipment is important because students are learning skills that are relevant for professional lab work,” said Sweeney. “I take pride in our sophisticated lab equipment that allows students to collect accurate and precise data that is reproducible and can give statistically relevant results. This has been difficult in distanced learning. But I don't easily give up.”
Sweeney researched equipment rentals from several companies and distributors “so students could turn their garages and countertops into laboratory bench tops.” One such company, JH Technologies, agreed to help.
“Although they will not benefit financially, they have agreed to rent out professional quality Leica microscopes to my students. For only a couple of dollars a day, students can view the inner workings of cells, study immune responses to infection, experiment on how plant and animal cells respond to changes in their environment, and see chromosomes do their dance as cells divide.”
Among the many research projects students will undertake this semester using the Leica microscopes include observing human white blood cells from a prepared smear to identify types of leukocytes. A timely study as students “will learn about this in the context of how the immune system responds to SARSCoV2,” said Sweeney.