Spartans explore with Scanning Electron Microscope
Last week nine Roger Bacon Students and three teachers went to Wright Patterson Air Force Base to have hands on experience with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The $250,000 microscopes are used regularly by base personnel, so students had to wait until after hours to work with microscopes with help from base experts. Students learned how the SEM works and about the important uses of these instruments at the Air Force base from Base personnel. Students were then shown the microscopes and told to explore. Students explored 8 different items at a magnification of up to 100,000 times larger than the actual object (1000 times greater than the possibility of the light microscopes used at school). As students investigated the different objects, they were allowed to print pictures of the magnified objects to bring home. Some of the more interesting objects seen by the students were the hairs on the eyes of flies, the carbon nanotubes in a composite material, and the intricacy of a computer chip. One student, Rita, mentioned this was the most exciting thing she had done all day!
This is the third year Roger Bacon has taken students to Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the science department looks forward to this opportunity each year so they can share with students some real world applications of the SEM .