Science students at Cheshire High School this spring are using a set of 10 new digital microscopes that are opening their eyes to “a whole new universe.” That’s how CHS science chair Julie Barker describes the impact being made by the new equipment, purchased with a $3,000 grant from the Cheshire Education Foundation. “The students love it,” said Barker. “They enjoy the new technology and what they can do with it.”

The digital microscopes connect directly to a student’s notebook or laptop computer, allowing them to manipulate and annotate any images or video they capture from a sample or slide. And especially important now, they can share these images and video with other students in the classroom or studying remotely at home. That facilitates collaboration on projects.

“These SmartScopes couldn’t have come along at a better time,” said Barker. “They are completely portable so any of our science classes can use them.” The first two classes to incorporate the microscopes into their lessons are Essentials in Biology and Earth Science.

“The mission of the Cheshire Education Foundation is to enhance learning experiences for children in the Cheshire Public Schools,” said CEF chair Derek Gromko. “We are happy that students are more engaged in their science classes when they use these new microscopes, which also can project magnified images onto Smartboards.” This feature helps foster class discussion whether students are in the room or participating from home.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeff Solan said, “I want to thank everyone on the Foundation for approving the digital microscope purchase for CHS. We are beyond excited about what it will mean for our students.”

The new digital microscopes do not replace the traditional compound microscopes in the high school. Instead, they are a tool that makes it possible for students to interact with science in a very authentic way and thereby get more engaged in the subjects being studied.

Over the past 25 years, the Cheshire Education Foundation has provided over $1 million to enhance the educational opportunities for students in the local school district. Anyone interested in supporting their mission with a donation can visit CheshireEducationFoundation.org.