Oakdale Library Microscopy Workshop

Saturday 21st October 2023

As a result of our poster campaign in Spring advertising the Gossip Meeting at Langton Matravers, Debbie Burfitt was asked if we could set up a small microscope display for children in Oakdale Library during the autumn half term. So on Saturday microscopes were one of the half-term attractions! Debbie Burfitt and Pam Hamer set up a variety of microscopes that children could use and waited to see if this really would be an ‘attraction’.

Microscopes and magnifiersMicroscopes and magnifiers

We were not disappointed as four or five families turned up with tribes of children of all ages. We had magnifiers for the smallest children though, of course, they wanted to use the same microscopes as their older siblings. However, everyone seemed to find something of interest among the spiders, flies, fossils, mosses, lichens and small electrical chips. A very large spider was a star attraction on the stereo microscopes as its eight eyes could be counted. Debbie had attempted to find some marine diatoms by collecting a sand sample from Arne, but they refused to appear so freshwater vegetation and mosses provided the best samples for her higher power microscope. She encouraged the older children to make their own slides to view. It was good to see how much care they took in handling the fragile cover slips and manipulating the samples.

We asked one mother if we could take a photo of her son using a microscope for our website, and she enthusiastically took our camera and we had a sequence!

Debbie Burfitt and Pam HamerDebbie Burfitt and Pam Hamer (right)

It was only scheduled to last for an hour and a half, and it passed really quickly as we had engaged visitors throughout. As a result of this we have been invited to set up a larger display in the main library in Poole in Spring next year.

You can see more photos on the Oakdale Library Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/oakdalelibrary).

Report by Pam Hamer

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