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Discovery World Microscope and Anatomy Kit

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1 Review

Brand: Discovery World / Type: Science

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      02.07.2011 18:06
      Very helpful
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      Recommended at the right price - but not for the microscope.

      There are three distinct parts to this set and I will review them individually. There is a toy microscope, a slide kit, and a large 3-d anatomy puzzle.

      THE MICROSCOPE:
      This is a very small, approximately 10" tall microscope. This has 3 settings for 100x, 300x and 600x magnification, but in all honesty I think you would likely do better with a very high powered magnifying glass. I may be spoiled now, with our wonderful Bressler microscope, but I have used many children's microscopes over the years and have a fair idea what to expect of them. This is without a doubt, the worst I have ever used. There is no focus although a ring spins, there is no effect. This renders the higher settings virtually useless. You can see a bit on the 100x setting, but it's nothing to get excited about. I am not certain, but I believe the lenses are made of plastic. That said the thing seems indestructible and I am happy enough to let the children play with it. It is also extremely lightweight, so could easily be carried about in a rucksack for outdoor exploring. I really think this should be looked on as a toy, not a scientific instrument, but you can have a bit of fun with it. It has a small dim light powered by AA batteries. If you can get bright sunlight though, you will get better results using the mirror to reflect light upwards.
      The microscope only rates 1 dooyoo star from me .

      THE SLIDES:
      You get a few bits and bobs for the microscope, but the best by far are the two prepared slides, one of textiles and one of grasshopper parts. Each slide has 4 specimens, and this makes an excellent starter for any microscope kit. These slides will normally sell for about £2.50 each, but there is a minimum shipping charge of £5 from the sites I could find. In fact the value of the two slides alone exceeded what I paid for this (£4.50 - ebay). There were also a few blank slides and covers, a very weak plastic magnifying glass, a set of plastic tweezers which are nearly useless and a small plastic pipette.
      The inclusion of two high quality prepared slides brings the slide set up to a full 5 stars from me.

      THE ANTATOMY PUZZLE:
      This is a roughly 12" plastic model of a human torso and head. The skin is cut away from half of the head to reveal the skull eyeball and muscles and the top half of the skull is also removed revealing a white brain. One side of the man has skin the rest muscle and the entire chest and abdomen area is cut aside to reveal the puzzle pieces, six removable organs (lungs, heart, liver, stomach, intestines) Once the organs are pulled out you can see the insides of the lungs, the kidneys, various blood vessels and the windpipe branching off towards the lungs.

      This came with a handy instruction book which gave basic information on each organ, as well as diagram to put this back together. My sons can reassemble this in seconds flat now, but it was actually a bit harder than expected the first time. The heart must be placed correctly with the blue part ( superior vena cava) connecting to the blue and red (aorta) to red. I've explained this is so one side can bring back the used blood for more oxygen while the other takes the freshly oxygenated blood out of the heart and around the body. The lungs must be placed last or it won't all fit.

      My sons love this model, or puzzle. I suppose it might be considered a bit gruesome, but my oldest views the human body just as he would a machine - he wants to know how it works. The youngest seems to be following suit, and they are both interested in and curious about how the body works. Although I would not have thought to buy them an anatomy model at such a young age, it certainly is a well liked toy in out house.
      I also think this has some educational value as it has helped the boys to undersatnd how various parts of the body work.

      I have found the anatomy model portion of this kit sold separately for £19.99. I think it is exceptionally well made and is superior by far to most of the less expensive models we see. I am happy to give this section of this kit 5 stars.

      OVERALL:
      At the price I paid, I'd have been delighted with the two slides alone, so everything else was just a bonus. This is not currently available, but does appear on amazon, ebay and various educational sites from time to time. The going rate for a new kit seems to fall between £11.99 - 19.99, but I have often seen used sets for around £6.00. If buying used though, do make sures the slides are still present.

      If you can find this at a very low price as I did, then this gets my full recommendation, if only for the slides. If you are looking for anatomy kit, this might well be worth be buying and just regard the microscope as unpaid for extras. If you are considering this set because you want a child's microscope though, I would recommend you pass this one by. The microscope is just not up to scratch. I have wavered between 3-4 stars, but lowered this to 3 as I think many children would be sadly disappointed in the microscope.

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