This last Monday, April 15th, I was at Glacier Peak High School for our first lesson with the Focus Camera by Exo Labs. Jean Ingersoll’s students had put pond water into various air tight containers and left them out for several weeks. Each week they take samples of the water and examine them underneath the microscope.
This week was a tad different because we had two Focus Cameras courtesy of Exo Labs. The students were able to see, document and share their findings immediately with their fellow students. While some students only had algae, others had hundreds of single celled organisms swimming under the microscope. The students were able to share with each others’s findings in graphic detail and even document them to show other classes.
The Focus Camera is a great way to see and correct students’ microscope technique. Often they won’t know how to properly focus and won’t know what they’re looking at. This is especially apparent with live moving specimens.
Jeff Shaver and I were on hand for three of her classes and able to see first hand what the Focus Camera is actually capable of when put in the hands of students. The camera, priced at $599 is a little on the expensive side especially when you take into account that the iPad is another $499. That adds up to an pricey station and although slightly cost prohibited the results speak for themselves and the camera is a well made, the images look crisp, and extremely well made, Exo Labs didn’t cut corners in its construction.
I’m excited to see where we can go from here with the folks over at Exo Labs. I can tell that our loaner iPads and Focus camera could be seeing a lot of use in the near future!