Light Microscopy Connect Day - Scholar Experience

1 April 2022

2021 Arkwright Engineering Scholar Harriet shares her experience of a recent Arkwright Connect Day...

"In January, I attended the online Light Microscopy for Engineering Connect Day, hosted by The Quekett Microscopical Club. Ahead of the day, we were each sent everything we needed to take part, including a microscope, slides and samples.

During the Connect Day we had many interesting discussions and learnt all about the use of microscopes in engineering. For example, how how they can be used to test how good an adhesive material is by examining the amount of air bubbles in the adhesive.

Throughout the day there was also a big focus on the different ways of making the subject clearer, like the use of stains and different directions of the light source depending on if the subject is opaque or transparent. One very interesting technique was the use of a polarisation filter, which makes the different thickness of material appear in different colours!

After that we were each given a task to make our own microscopes and try out some of the techniques. We then had lunch and a break to complete the task, before we each submitted pictures of our microscope and the samples we had looked at.

This was my favourite part of the day because I got to use my engineering skills to complete a task in a limited time. After the break we then talked about how we made our microscopes, any issues we had and how we could resolve them. I found this to be a very valuable experience because I got to see all of the other Scholars' approaches to the tasks and learned how to look at tasks differently. Overall I really enjoyed this Connect Day and found it very interesting!"