The Kast Lab focuses in on microscope history at the Dutch School of Southern California

This previous weekend we had four members of The Kast Lab get into character, teach, and educate students at the Dutch School of Southern California on the importance of microscopes, invented by Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek.


Did you know that Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was a Dutch scientist that is credited with creating the first microscope?


Antonie von Leeuwenkast

Antonie van Leeuwenkast – Julia Taylor

Well, during the celebration of Dutch Scientists put together by the Dutch School of Southern California The Kast Lab celebrated this innovation and spent the day engaging children aged 8-12 in the wonders of microscopy. Martin was so excited that he decided to get into character and show off his replica of the original microscope created by Antonie in the late 1600’s.

A young Dutch student teaches Joey about cellular compositions of plant tissue

A young Dutch student teaches Joey about cellular compositions of plant tissue.

Antonie (Martin), Joseph, Julia, and Elena were in attendance enlightening the children on the uses and functions of a microscope. For many of those in attendance it was a lifetime first as slides were magnified 100x to 500x before their very eyes, learning the visual and structural differences between plant and animal cells along the way.

In addition to viewing sections of plant and animal tissues, the children were also introduced to one of the main studies of our lab, viruses. As a craft project the kids were encouraged to decorate and assemble their very own icosahedral viral capsid which, unlike all other viruses, they were excited to bring home.

Folding in Class

Julia shows the kids how to fold viruses while going over their biology.

The Dutch School of Southern California is the first and only school in the region providing education in the Dutch language and culture with a mission of providing high quality education in both language and culture to Dutch speaking children from pre-K to 6th grade in Southern California. Website

Antonie looks onto what his creation lead to in amazement.