Nature Nook Microscopes

  • Location
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Status
  • Age Level
    Any Age

The Problem

With COVID restrictions and a new drive towards 21st century skills, we seek to acquire two microscopes that have screens. We are unable to use our current microscope because it requires kids to put their face on the surface and is not COVID safe. It is also outdated technology and breaks frequently. The microscopes we want to buy with this grant are COVID-safe, updated technology, and much more durable. A microscope has a unique role in science education. Studying the smallest pieces of nature and learning how something big is built out of the most miniscule (microscopic- literally) building blocks profoundly impacts childrens’ world views and understanding of nature. In New Mexico, 25% of children ages 0 - 17 are living in poverty. Many kids in NM don’t have access to technology, especially in our mountainous region. With this microscope, we would be introducing higher level technology that they may not be able to afford or experience at their schools and homes. We will take the microscopes into rural and indigenous communities through STEM fairs and classroom visits. Since the microscopes are portable, we can expose the kids to technology and up close experiences with natural elements in a laboratory setting. We are also aiming to create an environment of YES. When kids under the age of ten are given equipment like this, they are often told not to touch. We, of course, want them to be careful but because this microscope can withstand heavy usage, we can give kids autonomy and let them lead their own experiences with discovery.

Our Plan

The purchase price of the Tomlov Digital Microscope that we want is $170. Receiving this grant would allow us to buy the microscope and realize our vision for this exhibit. As we are very motivated to expand this program, if we receive this funding, we would match it and buy a set of two microscopes. This way, multiple families and children could experience the exhibit at once, both in-house and when we take the microscopes for outreach. This would drastically improve both the quality and the COVID safety of the exhibit. This gives children access to the microscopic world and experiences with nature. It would significantly improve our ability to teach children science. Thank you so much for your consideration of this proposal.

Themes Addressed

  • term icon
    Community Enhancement
  • term icon
    Indigenous Rights
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    Poverty & Equity
  • term icon
    Social Justice

The Benefit

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