Van was telling me how some of the kids she teaches seem to get great delight out of stamping on every insect they see... especially Ants! I seem to remember (sadly) that I was no different; I guess we are born stupid and have to take this as our starting point.
In a similar way, us amateur microscopists think very little about plucking an innocent and unsuspecting insect from the garden, killing it, and pulling it to bits for study under a microscope.

Vanessa has been doing her best to improve the outlook of kids in her class, so I thought I'd do my bit here for kids and some amateur microscopists to maybe change a few perceptions too.

First of all, yer don't need a microscope to do microscopy! Yup, I know it sounds daft, but its true all the same. Microscopy is not about using microscopes - it is about studying (or observing) tiny living and non-living forms. Sure a microscope helps, cos without one - yer wont get to see much of the very, very, tiny stuff. But what yer need most is an eye, a brain, and most of all a desire to want to look at things we often take for granted or ignore completely until we consider them as pests.

Take ants, for example. We don't normally bother too much about them until they inadvertently invade our homes. Then we can't stop worrying about how to get rid of them and often find it extremely difficult, simply because of the way they are organised. Now there is a lot about ants which is really interesting. Also, they are big enough to study without much help from magnifiers... although a 2x,3x,or 8x magnifier would allow you to get a little closer to see the amazing antics of these little critters.

Sooooo... I thought you and me might explore some ways of learning more about them both with and without any tools to see them bigger. I don't intend to teach you loads of stuff here about them, I just want to encourage you to go and take a look at 'em for yer-selves!

"So if yer ready to take  



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