Foldscope Science Lesson Conducted at Langub High School by LKCMedicine Students [Part 2 of 2]

[Part 2] Lesson Plan

The lesson began with an introduction on microscopy followed by a display of some images of flower petals, insects, leaf epidermis and even hair bulbs that we had seen using our foldscopes, to get the students all excited.

Cells of spider lily leaf epidermis, with several stomata visible
Beetroot cells, from a thin slice through the stem
Ant head

We then split the students up into groups of 10 where they began to assemble their own foldscopes, with guidance from the group leaders. Students also learnt about the different parts of the foldscopes, such as the lens stage, sample stage and panning guide.

One of our team members in action, guiding students to assemble their foldscopes

After assembling their foldscopes, we got the students to look at pre-prepared slides of onion epidermal cells to practice looking through their foldscopes. The group leaders also pointed out the different cell structures such as nucleus and cell wall to the students. Next, it was time for the students to explore their environment. Each group was tasked to collect a type of sample from around the school, such as a leaf, flower, pollen grains, hair or insects. This was meant to show students that science is not confined to the classroom setting but all around them, and with the foldscope in their hands, they could learn from their environment. The enthusiasm of the students was also evidently visible, as many of them took their own initiative to mount their samples onto the foldscope, albeit not necessary in the right way sometimes! It was noted that the leaf epidermis may be difficult to view using foldscope as students have to carefully tear and peel off the epidermis layer. While waxy leaves are easier to work with, we did not manage to find such leaves within the school compound.

Once the students had collected their samples, we conducted a sharing on the preparation of slides. Students learnt about the differences between glass slides and paper slides, how to prepare solid versus liquid samples and what dry and wet mounts are. Group leaders then led their groups in preparing glass slides of their own cheek cells, stained with 1% methylene blue. Equipped with the skills they just learned, students proceeded to make slides of the samples they had collected.

An example of a cheek cell swab with 1% methylene blue stain

Finally, the students were introduced to online learning tools available on the Foldscope Instruments official website and on YouTube Channels where they could continue learning more on how to use their foldscopes. They were also encouraged to join the Microcosmos community to share their discoveries with the rest of the world. Additionally, we got the students to follow our very own Facebook page called “Langub High School Foldscope Community” where they could share their own images of what they see on the foldscopes.

Although the lesson lasted for about 3 hours, there still was a lack of time to go through how to prepare every sample and we certainly hoped that our sharing would empower students to continue their learning journey back at home.

After the end of our lesson, we had a meeting with a Science teacher from Langub High School, who had also joined us in the lesson. We shared some of our ideas for future Science lessons that Langub teachers could conduct using the foldscopes, such as using 10% iodine stain prepared from povidone-iodine antiseptic solution (readily available in local pharmacies) to see the starch granules in plant cells, or creating leaf casts using transparent nail polish. We also shared about our idea of using the “Langub High School Foldscope Community” Facebook page to post topics every month and encourage students to compete to post the best foldscope image on that topic. At the end of the meeting, we also donated additional microscope glass slides, glass coverslips, disposable Pasteur pipettes and 30 foldscope kits along with 2 accessory kits to empower the school to conduct foldscopes lessons on other classes too.

It is hoped that the students of Langub High School would continue to use the foldscopes as a learning tool and for us to return in the future with more programs using the foldscopes, and to align these lessons to Langub High School’s curriculum.

 

Here are the links to OCIP Davao’s pages:

LKC Medicine OCIP Davao – fb.me/LKCDavao

Langub High School Foldscope Community – fb.me/LangubHSFoldscope

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