Students from Bunbury with their microscopes
The Microscopes for Schools project was the concept of 2006-13 WA Chief Scientist, Prof. Lyn Beazley,
whose desire was to see every primary school student have access to a magnifying microscope.  
 
Students from Moerlina exploring their environment
This was brought about due to a huge shortfall of students going on to study science at a higher level and she believed that unless students were introduced to a love of science at an early age, they were largely lost to science in the future.
 
In 2009, Charter President of the Rotary Club of Freshwater Bay, Di Collins, caught Prof. Beazley’s vision and initiated the project.  The concept is that each child in a class have the use of a microscope at the same time. Hence it was decided to provide a class set of 30 units (more or less depending on the size of the class) to a school where this class set gravitates up and down throughout the school on a rotation or as needs basis.
 
The project was trialled in Coolbinia Primary School for several months and officially launched at Mt Claremont Primary School on 22nd March, 2010. Due to the popularity of the project, it rapidly spread to where there are now some 23,000 microscopes which, have a removal base, allowing them to be used inside a classroom or outside in school gardens or discovering nature, in almost 800 schools, sponsored by some 130 Rotary Clubs, plus Corporations and individuals.  Microscopes are now in schools in all States of Australia, the Pacific Islands as well as schools in many Asian countries plus a few in Africa.
 
This project is providing some 270,000 students annually with the opportunity, through  microscopes emblazoned with a Rotary emblem, to discover the microscopic world.  The ultimate outcome would be for many to continue on to become scientists who work on a global arena in a wide range of scientific fields which benefit people throughout the world.
 
The RC Freshwater Bay has coordinated this project, working with the Water Corporation of WA who sponsored an activity booklet for use by older students with waterwise activities.  They also provide free incursions in schools throughout the State to teach teachers and students how best to use the microscopes The Science Teachers Association of WA and the Chief Scientist of WA’s Office combined to promote the project widely to schools and science based organisations. 
 
This project has its own website www.microscopesinschools.com and has received a Significant Achievement Award from Rotary International along with support from two State Governors in Major General The Hon. Ken Michael AC and The Hon. Kerry Sanderson AC, plus a former Governor General in The Hon. Michael Jeffery AC.