Finding things to study (young people) - Water Life Page 12
The most popular area of study for hobbyist microscopists is, without doubt, pond life. Actually, this should be more aptly called 'water life'. So many different animal and plant forms invisible or near-invisible to the naked eye, live in sea water, ponds, rivers, lakes, puddles, rain water gutters, etc. that it is one of the most enriching and accessible areas of study.
A low power stereo microscope is probably insufficient to really explore this area probably. A compound monocular or higher powered stereo microscope is required to get the best out of water life study. Young people can see so many weird and wonderful creatures with anything from x40 to x400 magnification. Wim van Egmond, a contributor to our online magazine - Micscape, has built several resources to help young and older people get started, like this one and this other one.
Let Pippa give you an idea of how easy this area of study is and how it also provides time for young people to get away from computer screens and get out and explore the real world. Watch clips from her video - right.
A bit of info: the most important living form on the planet is actually microscopic. Most people do not realise how critical it is for everything here to survive and make out world as a 'living' planet. That life form is a simple single celled algae. These tiny plant life forms create oxygen, and directly convert sunlight into physical organic material. Without them, everything would die. There are many fifferent types. Some live in coolonies like the volvox shown on the
Pippa introduces you to collecting samples from water.
This is a short clip from her longer film
on collecting and studying water life.