Alexandra Park Family Activities Day

Monday 27th May 2019

On Spring Bank Holiday Monday, three members of the Quekett Microscopical Club (Irma Irsara, Dennis Fullwood and Paul Smith) attended the Family Activities Day at Alexandra Park at the invitation of the Friends of Alexandra Park, as a contribution to the Club’s outreach programme. They set up some microscopes, cameras and screens and spent a very busy day answering questions from both adults and young people. Various samples had been collected from around the park by the volunteers earlier in the morning.

One microscope was set up to look at diatoms – small plants that move. Another looked at the detail of everyday objects such as coins and watches and fabric fibres, and the third was looking at all the bugs brought by children and other members of the public. At the same time, there was a scavenger hunt outside with horse chestnut leaves and daisies etc. sought out. Finally there was an Xplorer trail set up in The Grove with a challenge to find all the cards set up around the Park. Quite a lot of enthusiastic children could be seen running around the park and peering into microscopes.

Both adults and children were very engaged and fascinated by the amazing images of insects, other organisms and microfibres that most of us never knew existed in water. The microscopes certainly added a new and exciting dimension to the Park’s normal array of activities.

Dennis Fullwood with a young visitorDennis Fullwood with a young visitor

Irma Irsara and Dennis Fullwood with visitorsIrma Irsara and Dennis Fullwood with visitors

Irma Irsara with a visiting familyIrma Irsara with a visiting family

Irma Irsara with a laptop and video projectorIrma Irsara with a laptop and video projector

Irma Irsara and Paul Smith with visitorsIrma Irsara and Paul Smith with visitors

Paul SmithPaul Smith with his microscopes

Inspection camera with monitorInspection camera with monitor

Collecting fibres from clothingCollecting fibres from clothing

GyrosigmaGyrosigma sp. (a diatom)

SurirellaSurirella sp. (a diatom)

Unidentified diatomUnidentified diatom

Report and photographs by Irma Irsara, Paul Smith and Frances Minnion

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