On April 19th, Kitware volunteered at the local Science & Health Discovery Night at Shenendehowa High School. The event brings together local companies, universities, and other groups to provide hands-on science experiences for students. The volunteers enable students to explore everything from a jet plane simulator to using forensic science to solve crimes. This was the third year that Kitware has participated in the event, and it has been exciting to watch it grow each year.
Our exhibit, called “Seeing is Believing,” let students explore the world of data on an iPad (with KiwiViewer), in stereo 3D (with ParaView), or zoom-in using a homemade microscope. While the brain atlas dataset on an iPad and in 3D were interesting (especially switching between the brain and skull in 3D), it was the DIY microscopes that stole the show.
Inspired by Luis Ibanez’s blog post on DIY microscopy, we demonstrated to students how to use a tiny drop of water to turn a smartphone or tablet into a microscope with 20x-40x magnification. We recommended that kids try it at home only with an adult (to avoid soaked electronics), but everyone was fascinated. We took a closer look at sugar, salt, starfish, and…sea monkeys! The sea monkeys were definitely a highlight, and with the microscopes we could watch them swim around in a drop of water on a slide (although it was a bit tricky to get live sea monkeys in such a small drop of water).
A big thank you to all the Kitwareans who helped make the event fun for the students – we couldn’t have done it without you!
Below are a few photos from the event, which we’re looking forward to attending next year!