Name: Selena Ledgerton
Title: Web, Media & Marketing Manager at All About STEM
Age of testers: 8 Years old – All About STEM Mini-STEMmer
Product Testing: Zoomy™ 2.0 Handheld Digital Microscope
“Selena works as All About STEM’s Web, Media & Marketing Manager. All About STEM works on numerous projects to bring exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to schools across Merseyside, Cheshire and Warrington. They link schools with business, industry & expert volunteers to inspire the next generation of STEM specialists. As part of their work they have ran The Big Bang North West for the last four years, they manage the STEM Ambassador STEM Hub for Cheshire and Merseyside on behalf of STEM Learning and co-manage the Enterprise Adviser Network in the Liverpool City Region for The Careers & Enterprise Company.”
What were your first thoughts when the product arrived?
We were impressed with the bright packaging and our Mini-STEMmer was excited to open the box after seeing that this microscope plugs into the laptop! There was a lot of excitement about what the images would look like and where we could use it.
The CD included was simple to install and from that point on the hardware was plug and play – top marks for a user-friendly interface!
How did the testers use the product?
During the session, we tried the microscope on various foods, materials and even skin! We couldn’t believe how simple it was to focus as the top of the unit twists to make any alterations you need. The built in light and detachable circular guide allowed us to view three dimensional objects and textured surfaces, there is no need for plates or flat specimens here – jewellery, string, a tongue, all without problem!
There was plenty of opportunity to explore anything and everything without restriction. Well done to our Mini-STEMmer for taking these fantastic shots!
What are the educational benefits of the resource?
- Excite interest with regard to science and technology
- Examine and explore the world we live in
- Suitable for all years
- Opportunity for cross-curricular activities
- Encourage learning
- It’s so enjoyable to use!
What did you like/dislike about the resource?
My favourite thing is that Zoomy is tactile, easy to hold and control and the images are awesome!
Children who have issues with fine motor skills can enjoy Zoomy too. Other microscopes can be complicated and fiddly, whereas Zoomy is as simple as holding a ball and pushing a button. It may also be beneficial for children who are visually impaired as the image appears in a large scale on a laptop screen and could be digitally projected.
I couldn’t find fault with Zoomy, I would only say that the USB wire could have been a little longer to reach across a larger desk or for outdoor exploration.
What is the long term appeal of the resource?
This hardware is fully portable and can be used again and again in so many subjects.
Nature walks, baking sessions, playtime, the cross-curricular opportunities are endless.
I think I’ll be taking Zoomy to The Big Bang North West and taking some microscopic shots of our science exhibits! I’ll be running across a pool of custard, I wonder what a non-Newtonian fluid would look like?
Is the product unique?
No, there are other digital microscopes on the market. For the price (£54) however, this is the best I have seen when it comes to quality of image and ease of use. I have to say, I didn’t expect the images to be as impressive and sharp.
The Final Score:
*Big Bang North West takes place on the 4th of July at the Exhibition Centre, Liverpool. Find out more All About STEM and book your free tickets to BBNW using the links below!
The Big Bang North West is sponsored by AstraZeneca