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iLabs: Of flasks, beakers, and scopes

July 5, 2012

We had a great class experience in the Natural World Investigate lab today.  17 home schooled students ranging from 5-9 years took an introductory class on measuring and observing using scientific equipment.

Blue Erlenmeyer flask

Starting the day’s experiments

Students learned the names and uses of all the intriguing glassware found in the lab.  For instance, how the Erlenmeyer flask received its name or why one might use a volumetric flask instead of a graduated cylinder.

Bob led them through pipetting, proper names of glassware, meniscus reading, and looking through microscopes.

Bob Instructing

Instructor Bob

We then tackled the challenge of siphoning dihydrogen monoxide (water) from a flask attached to a rod stand into a beaker.

young pipetters

Using a pipettor is great fun. The challenge is to keep from using it as a squirt gun!

lab notebook

One young scientist recorded her experiences in her lab book. In a lab the saying goes, “If it’s not written down it didn’t happen”.

We finished our lab/class by calibrating dissecting microscopes and using them to inspect mosquito larvae and fruit flies.  All in all it was a fun introduction to life in the lab.

scope calibration

Focusing on the very small is easy when using top of the line dissecting scopes.

The next generation of scientists.

The next generation of scientists.

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