And now, thanks to a bevy of old, yet functional, free microscopes acquired from the UC surplus and a $75,000 electron microscope on loan from Hitachi High Technologies, that hope is a reality. “I was able to borrow a really nice tool – a tabletop-standing electron microscope on loan from Hitachi,” said Fickenscher.
That microscope, the Hitachi TM3000, is a tabletop scanning electron microscope able to observe everyday objects such as fibers, plastic, plants, and insects with magnifying capabilities of up to 30, 000x.
Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc. representative Joe Furlong believes that exposing children to the nano-world helps to give them perspective on what they cannot see with their own eyes. “When students get their hands on the equipment it really hits home how much science can be fun and interesting. If we can get some of these students excited about science, perhaps they can see themselves becoming a scientist,” said Furlong. “It is our hope that this program helps inspire students to pursue studies and ultimately careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields in their futures,” he said.