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GMS History
Microscopy Course

Young People's Microscopy Course:

This course has been offered annually by GMS since 1994, and is taught for eight Saturday mornings from 9 AM - 12 PM, with a one week 'break'. Sessions are in the winter, with occasional sessions in the fall. The course is designed to present 14 participants with some of the many applications of microscopy in biology, forensics, chemistry and other sciences.

Participation is open to upper middle school and high school students, home-schooled students, and classroom teachers. No microscopy background is required.

Each day consists of a review, an open lecture/demonstration, and a hands-on laboratory. The "hands on" is particularly emphasized. Custom sets of prepared slides and other materials are prepared by GMS members.

There is no cost to students; teachers pay a $10 course fee.


  • Introduction to microscopy
  • Polarized light microscopy
  • Chemical microscopy
  • Forensic microscopy
  • Mineralogy and petrology
  • Electron microscopy
  • Organism classification
  • Photomicrography

No examinations are given. During the course participants assemble notebooks of their own drawings, class notes, and other materials. At the end of the course awards are presented to those students who have prepared the most exemplary notebooks.

Applications from interested students and teachers will be accepted beginning 3 months prior to the course beginning. An application form for the 2018 class is available here: Application

Tentative dates for the 2017 winter session are January 21th - March 18th. See the schedule here: 2017 Schedule