The Intel QX3 Computer Microscope is an inexpensive solution to use with students. It is particulary useful for looking at powders and for comparing fingerprints.The QX3 uses current video technology to deliver images of just about anything to the computer screen with three magnification levels of 10x 60x and 200x. How easy is it to use with kids? During a family gathering where kids from ages 8 -11 were present, we embarked on an experiment to see how it was received. First, we loaded the software onto the computer. It was a snap. Then, we hooked the microscope to the computer's USB port and launched the software. We were ready to go within fifteen minutes. We explained a few instructions about the handling of the microscope. Within an hour and a half all of the kids had collected specimens and printed out pictures with very little supervision. Had there been more time, other features of the software could have been utilized such as time lapse photography, slide shows, and painting. Unlike the traditional microscope, the QX3's imaging unit can also be removed from its base so children can explore the world around them. The QX3 Computer Microscope comes with the microscope and CD-ROM software, as well as handy accessories such as prepared slides, containment dishes, sample jars, plastic tweezers, an eyedropper and an activity guide.
The QX3 is no longer being manufactured, but you can find them in computer stores for under $50.00 or you can bid for one on eBay. The average price on eBay is about $30.00 plus shipping.
Requirements for the QX3 COMPUTER MICROSCOPE:
Pentium® or Celeron Processor, 200MHz or faster (or equivalent)
USB port enabled
32 MB of RAM
Minimum 75MB free hard disk space
Video and sound devices that are compatible with Microsoft®
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