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Collaboration in Sponsoring a Microscope Experience Booth at RIKEN Yokohama Campus

RIKEN Yokohama Campus
2017/9/23

On September 23, 2017, we once again collaborated in sponsoring a booth at this year's opencampus event held by the RIKEN Yokohama Campus, which already uses our Field-Emission, general purpose and TM3000 scanning electron microscopes.
This event was co-hosted by the RIKEN Yokohama Campus and Yokohama City University's Tsurumi Campus. Visitors were offered the rare opportunity to access research facilities, which are not normally open to the public, and were introduced to the latest research activities and results.

Microscope experience booth Electron microscope corner
Microscope experience booth Electron microscope corner

The day of the event saw various activities including tours of the cutting-edge research facilities, and experiences that leveraged observation and experimentation to deepen visitors' appreciation for science. We also continued to exhibit the electron microscope booth that we have sponsored since 2015.
At the booth, visitors used an optical microscope to examine diverse plants and flowers prepared by the research institute, and took photographs of these to print out and paste on a panel. While they waited for photos to print, we showed visitors how to use an electron microscope to actually examine various types of pollen and starch granules found in tubers and roots.
The booth was visited by about 100 children and students, who examined the calcium oxalate crystals contained in Chinese yam, and were interested to learn that the shapes of pollen differed by plant. Parents were also surprised to learn that these crystals are what causes itchiness when eating or touching the yam.

Children check pollen samples after examining them with the microscope
Children check pollen samples after examining them with the microscope

Needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals contained in Chinese yam (these are the cause of itchiness when in contact with skin)
Needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals contained in Chinese yam (these are the cause of itchiness when in contact with skin)