more accessible Wentzscope



by Ed Rodley

Published on February 11, 2010

  • Bud Wentz’s monocular microscopes are a staple feature of science center/natural history interactives. Having just seen another one with a broken slide tray mechanism and a wonky viewing angle, I thought I’d share this.

    Our solution to making an accessible Wentzscope was to make a ring that holds 12 specimens. The ring bearings hold up very well. The fact that it rotates through 360 degrees means there’s no need for a bumper and nothing for the slide tray to crash into. Big handles at 90 degree increments make it easy for visitors with low mobility to operate it. And the whole thing is mounted on an adjustable base that cranks up and down to accomodate visitors of differing heights, and visitors in wheelchairs.

Latest Comments (2)

Access trade offs

by Ed Rodley - February 21, 2010

I agree about the stools, Dave. We went with the stools with the handhold slot because cubes are too hard to move, even for able adults, let alone people with limited mobility. It’s a classic case of having to pick one audience over another. We decided that for our demographic (family groups) the stools served more people better.

Nice change to common piece

by Dave Stroud - February 16, 2010

I like this! At one place I worked we had many difficulties with the slides “wandering” and other materials migrating to the workstation.

I am adding this to my idea book.

BTW I am looking at that stool in the foreground. We have many small kids in my current location. That type of stool tips very easily when climbed or stood on. We have replaced them all with MDF cubes for safety…

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