Making Sample Slides

After building your microscope, you now hold the power to look at very small organisms and non-living samples. Here are some ideas for sample slides you can create and image.

Elodea densa is a multicellular plant you can use to image plant cells. A slide can be constructed by taking a leaf and placing it on a microscope slide, then covering the sample with glycerol and a coverslip. To keep the sample from shifting, you should line the exterior edge of the coverslip with nail polish. 


Leaf cells (picture by students)

Daphnia magna are small crustaceans often found in freshwater of the northern hemisphere and in South Africa. To image this living, moving organism, you can use a depression slide (glass or plastic). Take a pipette and transfer one Daphnia organism with around one or two drops of water (to prevent excessive swimming) into the concavity. If there is too much water, remove it carefully with the pipette. Otherwise, carefully lift your microscope so that the rail is perpendicular with the ground and insert your slide into the slide holder. Make sure all your lenses are securely inserted into their 3D printed frames before altering the position of the microscope. 


Daphnia magna 

Both of these organisms can be purchased from Carolina Biological Supply Company (as well as other organisms). Additionally, you can purchase non-living samples.


Muscle tissue (picture by students)


Grass root 


Brain cells (picture by students)