An Introduction To Light Microscopy For Younger People and Beginners
by Mol Smith


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   Finding things to study (young people) - prepared slides
Page 11


Young people, say 9 years to 15 years old would benefit from having a compound microscope. Most schools these days teaching biology or associated life science rarely use actual microscopes anymore. There is nothing better than supplementing educational development by evolving an interest which is less prescribed and more 'hands-on' driven by natural curiosity and a bright, probing mind.
Although it's possible to learn how to take specimens, preserve them, and mount them permanently on glass slides for continuous viewing over many decades, it is simpler for younger people to acquire good quality specimen slides commercially.
Like everything today offered on the Internet for purchase, the quality of specimen slides varies  from 'useless' to perfect. Slides offered too cheaply, invariably will be of very poor quality and will fail to deliver expectations. Highly detailed and perfectly mounted slides are available mostly from European or western hemisphere companies and should be your first port of call.
I do not wish to turn this resource into a commercial advertising platform so I will refrain from recommending good companies to buy from. Go looking, and it becomes self evident. Buy one slide first before buying complete sets to determine the quality. Good slides are not cheap, nor should they be. It is a complex and very refined process to take a slice of life and stain (colour it) along with all the other processes required to preserve and mount (present) it for good viewing with a microscope.
Making one's own permanent slides is probably a pursuit left until adulthood or much later in life for a hobbyist microscopist, but there are ways of making semi-permanent slides and procedures for slide-making which are far more accessible for young people, which we will take a brief look at shortly.


Boxes of specimen slides (low to medium quality)
may cost 25 to 40 UK pounds for 25 slides.

A single high quality specimen slide of artery and vein (human)
may cost around 8.00 UK pounds.

A single slide of a difficult to prepare specimen like this slice
from a human brain may cost around 12.00 UK pounds for a good slide.