byAndrea Kautz and Dan Kozel, Powdermill Nature Reserve
Dan Kozel of Powdermill Nature Reserve has worked over many months to perfect a procedure to cast macroinvertebrates in acrylic blocks for use in the classroom. These blocks are a great way to transport and distribute normally very fragile aquatic insect specimens without destroying them. It also helps learners see the real-life scale of these insects. They can be put under microscopes to be viewed from all angles and are a great tool to use in training exercises.
Dan was able, through lots of experimentation, to figure out a method for casting these delicate insects in acrylic while avoiding the common issues like bubbles and shriveling. You can download his instructions (PDF) for creating them here:
Now we have several complete training sets of macros that can be used with a wide variety of audiences in conjunction with macroinvertebrates.org. A big thanks to Dan for all of his hard work!
An interdisciplinary team