It’s a universal law. Boys like toys for Christmas and it doesn’t change the older they get. This Christmas was no exception and I got some great ones. Another universal law seems to be that the older we get, the more interested we become in things we did as a kid. So, combining the two, I received a microscope this year as a wonderful Christmas present. And not just a microscope, but a completely updated one that takes advantage of the latest technologies. This microscope has an LCD screen instead of an eyepiece. This is a wonderful improvement because now I can take still pictures of what I’m seeing and I can even take video clips of what’s going on in the invisible world under the lens. Can you image?
I had three chemistry sets and a microscope set up in my room as a giant lab. I had all the glassware, the flasks, test tubes, etc. and I spent countless hours learning about chemistry and biology and it was FUN!. That time well spent gave me the inspiration to go to Western Michigan University and get a degree in Biology.
When I was a kid the toy catalogs were full of chemistry sets and different microscope kits. Have you looked at a toy catalog recently? If not, let me be the first to tell you, you will NOT find any chemistry sets. Why not? Oh, way too dangerous. Remember the countless newspaper articles about children getting poisoned or having their fingers blown off by Gilbert Chemistry sets? No? Me neither. So what’s in toy catalogs today? Eighty percent of the “toys” are TV and movie related trinkets. These aren’t toys. They are product placements for shows and movies. Try and find something fun and educational. Try and find something science related. It’s a very sad commentary on what values we hold dear to us. And we wonder why our status in the world is falling in the realm of Education and science….