Brian J Ford
    NESTA and digital microscopes


'Using the Digital Microscope' was funded by NESTA in 2002.






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During Science Year NESTA planned to give a QX3 digital microscope to all state schools in England. The problem was that nobody knew how to use one! So NESTA proposed a challenging project: to research, compile, write, design and publish a schools' manual in a few months! A crazy deadline, but it was achieved.

It meant travelling 2000 km and taking over 1000 scientific photographs of specimens from marine microbes to forged documents; designers, consultants, editors and volunteers were brought in to test and then produce and publish the final product.

Within three months, start to finish, the whole project was finished and glossy, full-colour manuals had been distributed to schools. It was later translated into Welsh and distributed to schools throughout the Principality.

    Journalist Tom Mack (right) reports on the final stages of the digital microscope project.