Our Electron Microscope

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STEM Outreach Program

Promoting the STEM Outreach Program into Primary education, Bunscoil Buachaillí Realt Na Mara School received an Electron Microscope this week where several classes engaged with the use of this instrument to better understand the everyday items we see. The Hitachi TM4000plus, the most powerful desktop Electron Microscope on the market, made Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt Na Mara School the first in the country to use the instrument and learn about Microns and Nanometers. Second, third and Fourth class pupils learnt that there are 1 million microns in a metre and 1 Billion nanometers in a metre.

 

Samples were placed into the Electron Microscope by the boys and samples from pollen particles, a fly’s head, eye and foot were observed and measured. They could see the spikey nature of a pollen particle. The boys noticed on a fly’s foot how it grips and tastes food. A pupil’s hair was donated in the aid of science and
they looked and measured its thickness. They saw the difference between a fly and bee’s wing, the difference between sugar, Clogherhead Salt and Bettystown Beach Sand Particles. They looked at a dandelion seed and how different a clover leaf is from a potato leaf. Seeing the Stomata present on every green leaf
encouraged the boys’ conversation around Photosynthesis.


It is hoped that this project helped to instill and encourage the wonder of Material Science in our locality. The energy and great questions from each class would suggest it did just that.
 

The Hitachi TM4000plus Electron Microscope was donated to the school by Hitachi High Technologies Ireland and will be brought around to other schools around the country, promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.            

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What We Saw

grain of sand
pollen particle
paper
a fly's foot
a daffodil petal
a fly's head
potato leaf
bee's wing

Top to bottom above: Grain of sand, pollen particle, paper, a fly’s foot, a daffodil petal, a fly’s head  Potato Leaf and a Bee’s wing.