June 1, 2018 (Vol. 38, No. 11)
Strong Points: 3D exploration of the virtual microscope
Weak Points: Limited amount of information and interactivity with microscope
The MicroExplorer 3D app by North Carolina State University offers a basic virtual introduction to the compound microscope. App users are presented with a 3D drawing of a compound microscope; they are free to zoom in/out or rotate the image. Clicking on a specific part of the microscope will highlight it and cause its name to be displayed on the screen, though no additional information is revealed. For that, users must explore the menu that can be accessed via the blue tab at the bottom of the screen. Within the menu, users can select different parts of the microscope (e.g., base, eyepiece, stage) to read more about the various components. This information mostly takes the form of brief text blurbs, though images and occasionally a video are also included.