Experts pick their favorite lab slides

Middle School / High School

Putting that “Wow!” factor into a student’s lab experience is a home run for every science teacher.  And what’s more exciting than that first moment when a cool lab slide comes into focus? When we asked the technicians in the Ward’s Science microscope slides lab, which slides make them smile every time, they had no trouble singling out their favorites.

So, what are the top lab slides chosen by experts from Ward’s lab that will also amaze and engage the students in your classroom? Here is the list (in no particular order):

1. Pine Cone

What’s so cool?  The slide comes with a cross-section and a long section so you can see structures both ways. Students will recognize and identify the amazing details of the pollen, chambers, stem, terminal bracts, vascular bundles, and more!

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Pine, Staminate Cone Combination Slide

Male cone with mature pollen. Two orientations shown.

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2. Young Starfish

Intensify instruction with this specimen that is whole mounted on the slide so that you can observe the radial symmetry. Imagine students’ eyes widening when they see the young starfish’s spines, tube feet, disc, arms, and its single orifice.

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Starfish Development Slides

Study starfish development stages and evolutionary development.

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3. Zebra Fish

In this longitudinal section, you can determine the fish’s sex (male or female) and study its eye and reproductive system.  Students will be excited and lean into learning with the level of observational detail in this slide.

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Zebra Fish Development Slide Set

Prepared in Ward's® own labs by skilled technicians, these slides show the detailed anatomy of organisms commonly used in genetic and developmental studies.

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4. Taste Buds

Students will be excited to explore something they use every day! With the help of an Iron stain, this yummy cross-section slide shows the gustatory neuroepithelium–which allows us to taste food.

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Gustatory Epithelium Slide

Sectioned through taste buds. Identifying features of this slide are clearly distinguishable.

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5. Giant Multi-Polar Neuron

We make this whole mount slide with fresh, not preserved tissue–which allows for an examination of the eponymous nerve cell, single axon, and multiple long dendrites. Since features are easy to identify in the slide, students will be “wowed!” as they learn about the nervous system. 

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Giant Multipolar Motor Neurons

Explore nerve cells and their connections.

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Ward’s Science supplies microscope slides for cytology, histology, and general microbiology applications. We construct glass microscope slides for staining experiments out of high-quality sheet glass and soda-lime glass; economical options include disposable clear vinyl or standard sheet glass slides. Choose plain or frosted products with or without coverslips. To help keep things organized, Ward’s offers clipped or beveled corners and color-coded and markable slides. Purchase blank slides or prepared microscope slides in your choice of dimensions and thickness in packs or larger cases. Storage boxes for microscope slides of various sizes and materials are also available.

As always, if you have questions about slides or anything else, just ask the Ward’s Science Plus Us team at sciencehelp@vwr.com. Our in-house scientists and technicians are ready to answer even the toughest inquiries.

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