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Activity: Wet Mounting a Specimen

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Objective:
  • To learn how to wet mount a specimen
  • To learn why a specimen might be wet mounted

Materials
  • A compound microscope like THIS or any of THESE.
  • Slide
  • Cover slip
  • Water
  • Dropper
  • Tweezers
  • Specimen (some thread fibers will do fine)

Procedure
  1. Place a drop of water on the center of a clean dry slide
  2. Using the tweezers, place the specimen in the middle of the drop.
  3. While holding the cover slip upright, carefully place one edge of the cover slip next to the water.
  4. Slowly lower the upper edge of the cover slip onto the water. The objective is to minimize or eliminate air bubbles under the cover slip. You might find it helpful to use one toothpick to hold the lower edge in place, while using another to carefully lower the slip into place.
  5. An absorbent towel can be placed at the edge of the cover slip to draw out some of the water, further flattening the wet mount slide.

Preparing a wet mount

Questions for Thought
  • Why would you want to wet mount a specimen? (To increase its translucency and to make it easier to stain. It also has a tendency to flatten the subject, making it easier to view.)


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