Using Prepared Microscope Slides: Benefits and More

There is perhaps no better way to introduce a budding scientist to the world of microscopy—not to mention biology, medicine, forensics, and pathology—than with prepared microscope slides. Introducing youngsters to the sciences is about both the big picture and the small picture simultaneously, and by small, we mean microscopic! There’s so much more to learn about the world around us when we zoom in. And these pre-prepared samples let you crack open the great, big world of science without having to leave the lab. Prepared slides are perfect for training and teaching purposes.

What Is a Prepared Microscope Slide?

Unlike your typical blank microscope slides, prepared microscope slides have professionally prepared samples already set in between the glass. They typically come in sets with categorized or broad-spanning slides for learning and teaching biology, pathology, zoology, anatomy, and many more sciences.

You’ll also appreciate the fascinating views using our whole mounts of hair, eggs, pollen, wings, and insect legs! There’s so much to discover when you explore our selection of prepared microscope slides. No matter the field of science that interests your little scientist, there are slides that help you dive right in.

The Benefits of Using Prepared Slides

  • They Save You Time and Money—One of the best reasons to invest in a set of pre-prepared slides is that it saves you a ton of time and money. If you’ve ever prepped slides before, you know that it can take hours, and let’s be frank—educators and parents do not have hours to spare. The slide selections are ready to stick in your microscope as soon as you remove them from the box. There’s no need to forage for specimens or fuss with mounting.
  • They Display Exemplary Specimens—Not that you aren’t an amazing slide-mounter, but professionally set microscope slides feature perfect specimens that beautifully display the core visuals to help illustrate whatever lesson is on the agenda. They’ve also been professionally prepared, set, handled and labeled in sterile environments, so there is no risk of contamination. This also helps future scientists see what a perfectly mounted slide looks like and prevents contamination from one use to the next. 

  • They Open Up Your Viewing World—As those of us in the sciences know all too well, we’re often limited by our geographical area. Thus, we’re effectively confined to whatever samples can be collected from around us. Prepared slides let you examine things you otherwise wouldn’t be able to find, such as plants from other geographic regions.
  • They’re Long-Lasting—Most pre-mounted microscope slides are treated with a preservative agent—often cedarwood oil—and are then sealed by a coverslip to ensure that they stay in great shape for years. The glass components are pre-cleaned, and most sets come with a protective case so that no slide gets lost or damaged in the learning process. In short, they’re a good investment!
  • Students Will Never Get Bored—Bust out the microscope and your box of slides and watch as curious kids are entertained for hours. Most of our prepared slide sets come in large quantities, with as many as 200 unique specimens per collection. There are enough specimens in these sets to keep youngsters engaged and to introduce them to the many distinct concentrations of science.

Making Your Own Prepared Slides

Whether you purchase them pre-prepared or spend the weekend gathering specimens for your own collection, going this route will save you time in the long-run. If you prefer, you can also make your own microscope slides using our bulk blank microscope slides and whatever fascinating samples you can gather. Leaves, vegetables, bugs, pet hairs, ear wax—the opportunities are truly endless! We like this tutorial for those looking for easy at-home slide creation.

AmScope is always available to help you find the right educational tools for your scientific endeavors, whether you’re a teacher, a parent or a hobbyist. Don’t forget to explore our selection of student microscopes for more wonderful ways to get kids excited about science.