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First Microscope for 11 year old girl

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First Microscope for 11 year old girl

Postby rlanasa on Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:02 pm

We are searching for a Microscope for our 11 year old girl for Christmas. The budget is flexible. What is important is something that she and her friends will use and learn to explore from.

What configuration and tools should you have to get children to spend time with a microscope?

Warmest regards,

Ronnie
rlanasa
 
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 7:57 pm

Postby Jne_K on Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:31 am

Hi

The first decision when buying a microscope for a child is whether to buy a toy microscope or whether to buy a student microscope. Each has its place, but you need to tailor expectations, accordingly. Paying the price for a toy, then expecting the performance and quality of a student microscope is simply unreasonable. Carefully assess the needs and abilities of the youngster before buying any microscope.

A toy microscope is designed to introduce a youngster to a microscope and spark an interest in microscopes, but a toy microscope is not designed with the quality or features needed for extended or serious use. However, if a toy microscope achieves its intended purpose - fostering an interest in microscopes and science - it may be money well spent. Keep in mind, though, that should a child sustain an interest in microscopes, the child will quickly outgrow a toy microscope. On today's microscope market, any microscope under $100 is a toy microscope, regardless of the advertising or labeling.

Here are some choices in toy microscopes

Meade 900X Microscope with 19-piece Accessory Kit

Meade 8200 Microscope - 08007

Meade Hobbyist 51-piece Microscope Kit

Meade Childrens 28-piece Microscope Kit - 08019

Celestron 44100(well made)

A student microscope is designed with enough quality for extended use and will have at least some of the features need for serious use. For a microscope with the quality and features of a microscope used in a middle school or high school science class, expect to pay in the neighborhood of $200. Good choices here include the Celestron 44014 (supplied with mirror and light), and the Konus Academy 5325

If budget is an issue, you can opt for a student model that uses a mirror, instead of a built-in light, but a built-in light is well worth the extra expense. For a student model with a mirror, try the Celestron 44102 or the Konus College (Note that the tiny LED lights found on some toy microscopes do NOT qualify as a useable lighting system and will have a predictably short lifespan.)

Here are a couple of articles on our website that will provide more information on the basics.

For a beginners guide on how to choose your first microscope, see my article, Microscope Guide for Beginners

For a beginners guide on how to use your first microscope, see our article
Using your first Microscope
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Looking for higher quality

Postby rlanasa on Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:56 am

Budget is not really the issue. What I am looking for is a high quality first and maybe only microscope my daughter will acctualy use.

Ronnie
rlanasa
 
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 7:57 pm

Postby Jne_K on Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:22 pm

Hi

Nice talking with you on the phone. The issue really is the TYPE of objects she will be studying. For microorganisms - pond water, spores, bacteria - you need a compund scope, such as the Celestron 44108. For larger specimens - rocks, twigs, insects, flower parts - you need a stereo microscope, such as the LOMO SF100.
Thanks for posting with us
Joanie K - Your personal optics expert

Forum: http://www.opticsplanet.com/msgboard
Blog: http://blog.opticsplanet.com/
Store: http://www.opticsplanet.com/

Phone: (800) 504-5897
Fax: (847) 919-3003
Jne_K
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