Microscopy for Beginners


Microscopy for Beginners [5 weeks]

Course Outline

This is a series of skills classes combining presentation, demos and hands-on learning activities for anyone interested in learning the basics of microscopy in a fun, creative and experimental environment.

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to microscopes – refraction, reflection, magnification
  • How microscopes are built
  • The physics of microscopy
  • Sample preservation
  • Slide preparation
  • How staining works
  • Staining methods, techniques and applications
  • Kohler illumination technique
  • Microscopy image capturing and illumination
  • Live imaging
  • Oil immersion technique
  • Exploring the biology
  • Intro to advanced microscopy techniques

Experience ways of creating striking images by venturing into the unseen world of microscopy, exploring different samples and staining techniques through the medium of light. We have a range of upright and inverted microscopes that are equipped with a wide variety of microscopy techniques. This workshop will cover the physics of how microscopes work, taking you through every stage of sample preparation and a step by step guide to achieve Kohler Illumination (bright field microscopy – the basis for all other optical microscopy techniques). Explore and gain understanding into how different samples interact with different stains and gain the confidence in using a range of microscopes with different magnifications to capture your results.

You will be trying out making various samples from each of the five different Kingdoms of the biological classification of organisms, from Protists (single celled organisms) animals (you, a multi cellular organism), and everything in between. The course will explore the benefits of using different samples for making permanent slides, along with the benefits of using different stains and staining methods for both scientific and artistic purposes. All participants should bring along a notebook to take notes as a range of different processes and protocols will be covered over the course of the training programme, all other materials are provided.

People who might like to take this course include:

  • anyone interested in microscopy and developing lab skills
  • artists interested in using the tools of science
  • scientists who don’t usually work with microscopes
  • students interested in exploring the field of microscopy
  • the ever curious and creative
  • people who are really interested in looking deeper into what lives all around us in the microscopic world!

Here’s how it went…

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