Science has always fascinated me from the moment I was first exposed to it. I owe this passion to watching episodes of Bill Nye the Science Guy and the Magic School Bus and taking trips to the Ontario Science Centre. Getting assigned hands-on science projects in particular brings me excitement. I have always been eager to find creative ways to demonstrate my projects. I combined my passion for art and math to design and build the things I dreamt of. Out of the many projects I have done in the past, one specifically outshines them all. In grade 10, I had constructed a working microscope out of scratch.

For my biology unit on Mitosis, our assignment was to represent the cell cycle in a creative way (i.e. video, game, model, bake) and along with that, hand in a written report about the cell cycle and additional information we did not learn in class. After a night of brainstorming a variety of ideas, I came across the thought of building a microscope with slides showing the cell cycle. The question I had yet to answer was: How would I go about building it? I layed out different options that I eventually eliminated until I was left with one.

My original idea was to create a microscope model out of popsicle sticks however, I wanted it to have a realistic effect which lead me to the idea of attaching a magnifying glass as the zoom and a light on the base. I decided to finish the written portion first, I then created a blueprint with measurements for the different parts of my microscope. I worked step by step by building each component and later sticking them together. Attaching the light was the most difficult section in my project, I cut open part of my microscope to stick a small reading light inside. I attached waxing paper to the stage of the microscope to eliminate the bright light from hurting the eyes while looking through the oculars. As for the slides, I gave them a 3D effect by designing them out of colorful play-doh and I attached a legend for each color’s correspondence. I put the playdoh on plastic sheets to give them a lens look and printed out labels.

With the time period of one week, I built a working microscope. As a result, my science teacher was impressed and I earned a mark of 100%.

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