On The 27th of October I went to GTAC. GTAC stands for Gene Technology Access Centre, it is located in the grounds of University High School in Parkville, Melbourne. Myself and all the other students in year 5/6 went because we were going to learn information about DNA and investigating, which is related to our intergraded topic for this term – forensic science.
When we arrived, a friendly man called Chris welcomed us all and told us what we were going to do today; this involved an investigation activity. He also handed out booklets and told us how to use a stereo and a compound microscope. After the talk, We were greeted by our enthusiastic mentors at the work benches, my group mentor’s name was Reema and she was studying immunology next door at WEHI.
At the work benches, we started to look though the stereo microscopes; we had a look at some stuff including a feather, a beetle, foliage and some seeds. All these objects were related to the investigation activity. The stereo microscope could zoom in up to 40x so we got some very good images of the objects. In the activity, it also involved water; we used the compound microscope to look at it because it could zoom in up to 1000x, but we were only allowed to use it up to 400x. In the water I saw lot’s of things including little bugs and when we looked at a leaf peel I saw the little mouth openings called the “stomata”. They also taught us all the names of the things on the microscopes, they were: the eyepiece lens, the objective lens, the stage, the focus knob and the light source.
One other important thing to mention is the staff; they were terrific. Every one of them was engaged, extremely helpful, and most of all you could just see that they loved science and they loved to share their knowledge on it too. They were also great with working with children and very flexible, also questions were very much appreciated. I would definitely recommend visiting GTAC sometime and meet the wonderful scientists.
Three facts I now have from this experience is:
- Stereo Microscopes are used for looking a macroscopic specimens.
- All foliage has tiny mouth openings that are called “stomata”.
- Compound microscopes can zoom in up to 1000x.
Two Understandings I now have are:
- The stomata breathes in Carbon Dioxide from the air around us and then breathes out oxygen.
- The naked eye can only see hardly any detail compared to the stereo and compound microscopes.
One wondering I now have is:
- Why do you have to put oil on the compound microscope if you want to look at something with 1000x magnification?
Overall I think going to GTAC was a very worth while experience and I learnt a lot about many areas of science!
To visit their website, follow this link: http://www.gtac.edu.au/