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The best way to get young people into the great adventure that is science is to give them the tools, the techniques, and the encouragement they need to make authentic discoveries themselves.  

LabRats provides all three during our meetings.  But, your student(s) can't achieve their greatest potential as a citizen scientist unless they have access to the essential tools of discovery at home.  

Our purpose in creating these pages is to provide you with specific recommendations for products you may wish to purchase to support your children's interest in a particular field of STEM.  

Most parents have no idea what needs a budding citizen scientist is likely to have, or how to select products that meet those needs.  So, to make your life easier, we have tired to identify the specific needs that the citizen scientists in your life may have, and then pair each need with a specific product that we feel is an outstanding value.  

Please note that, as a participant in the Amazon Associate's Program,  LabRats does receive a small commission on each product sold, and those commissions go directly to support our program.  However, we do not not officially endorse any products or brands except our own.  

We hope you find this to be a helpful resource. And we deeply appreciate your support of the LabRats Science Education Program!

Dr. Shawn

Executive Director

Micro biology

This inexpensive handheld microscope is perfect for field work. Just drop it in your pocket and explore the microscopic wonders of the great outdoors. Perfect for budding naturalists! 

This stalwart scope is powerful enough to satisfy the needs of even the most ambitious citizen scientist. Similar scopes can cost 5x as much! 

Field Scope

Dissecting Scope

Pro Scope

First Scope

Most student scientists find a good dissecting microscope to be far more useful and enjoyable than a high-mag instrument. Lower mag and wider field of view makes inspecting samples picked up in nature easy explore in context, without the hassles of preparing slides. This lower-cost high performance model is one of my favorites! 

This is an outstanding first microscope kit for a student scientist who's just starting out. Low-cost with plenty of interesting specimens to observe and explore can provide a captivating introduction to the world of the microscopic. 

We will respond to you request as soon as possible. 

How-To Help

With lab technique and suggested first projects, this practical lost-cost how-to guide to microbiology

provides an excellent introduction to getting down amongst the microns.  

Slide Prep Kit

Preparing a specimen for microscopic examination requires special tools. Here's the low-cost tool kit that can out your budding young scientists in the cusp of new knowledge. It provides all of the basic elements needed to create slides for most citizen scientist needs. 

MUST HAVE if you are working with your own glass slides. How do you keep your slides safe and organized once you've done the hard work of creating them? Store them in an inexpensive slide box like this one. Cork lining provides some shock resistance, and the labeling inside the box top let's you track what's what! 

Slide Storage Box

Slide Blanks 

You can't use a high-powered microscope without slides and slide covers. With 100 reusable slides and slide covers, this inexpensive set could provide enough to keep your scientist in slides until they go to college.  NOTE: You must also have a SLIDE PREP KIT to convert specimens into slides.

Prepared Slides

This set provides an extraordinary introduction to microbiology for the self-guided student. Also, an outstanding sample of common benchmark specimens that the budding microscopist will definitely need to compare with the specimens they are collecting for their own projects. 

Starter Kit

Or, just keep it simple with this reasonably priced microbiology starter kit. Just about everything you need to get moving in microscopy. You should still consider a set of prepared slides for comparison, and a slide storage box to house your creations. But for the rest of it... not a bad introductory bundle.