Ken-A-Vision X-1000
I think that I was in the 6th grade when Peter Lindley and I got hooked on microscopic pond life. Our teacher, Ms. Lumis, saw this and somehow we ended up taking a Ken-A-Vision projecting microscope to a 3rd grade class in another part of town and had copepods dancing across their walls. I think that was my first experience teaching others about the wonders of the microscopic world.

The Ken-a-vision X-1000 is a graceful piece of American workmanship. The 26 inch tall gently curving stand holds a 150 watt bulb that shines down, through the specimens and the objectives. The light can continue straight down through a 10x ocular and produce an image on the surface directly below the lamp, or the light can be reflected off a mirror and directed towards a screen or the wall. When working with permanent mounts, the lamp/lens assembly can be tilted back to shoot the beam of light horizontally directly onto a vertical screen, or I suppose that you could use the mirror and project onto the ceiling! :)

I love this device for its simple light and lens to image a specimen directly, no digitizing, no computer, no LCD projector.

There is also a built in polarizer and analyzer for having fun with thin sections of rocks and other fun stuff!

When I was setting this one up the first time, my cat was intrigued by the huge fly head that I was dancing around the wall.

Water bears on the Wall!
Yesterday (3/27/11) I went scouting for some moss and found some growing on some concrete. An article about water bears mentioned that would be a good place to collect. I brought it home, placed the moss upside down in the cut off bottom of a little water bottle. I left it for a little over 24 hours and checked it out when I got home. I found two water bears very quickly. One was very active. I started with the Zeiss stereo microscope and then moved over to the Ken-a-vision X-1000 to see them on the wall. Devin was the assistant for this part, and Ethan checked it out too.
Mach, Martin. "Das Bärtierchen-Journal." Das Bärtierchen-Journal, Jeden Monat Neu Im Internet! Das Bärtierchen-Journal, 01 Aug. 2000. Web. 28 Mar. 2011. <>.