Scope-on-a-Rope Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Scope-On-A-Rope?

The Scope-On-A-Rope (abbreviated SOAR) is a hand-held microscope that shows magnified images on a television, projector, computer, or active board, by simply touching the lens tip to an object of your choice. It can be used as a compound microscope, a dissecting microscope, and a document camera. Since images can be displayed on a large screen, the SOAR takes microscopy from an individual activity to a group activity!


Where can I get a SOAR?

LSU has set up a lending program that allows any educator to borrow a Scope-On-A-Rope. Refer to the Lending Program page for the list of sites where you can borrow a SOAR and/or download the program flyer (see sidebar).

If you want to purchase your own SOAR, the sole vendor of the original model is School Technology Resources; they also sell a wide variety of other models of hand-held microscope as well as curriculum and educational resources for teachers.


How do I borrow a SOAR? Can you mail it to me?

The SOAR cannot be mailed; you have to arrange to pick it up from an available lending site. You can have someone else pick it up on your behalf, though!  Please give at least one week’s notice before requesting to borrow a scope. Refer to the Lending Program page for more information about borrowing a SOAR, for the list of lending sites, and for a list of other items available for loan. 


What if I break something or parts get lost?

Sometimes accidents happen. You are not held liable for broken parts, although searching for missing parts is greatly appreciated! We would much rather have these instruments being put to good use in classrooms than sitting in a cabinet collecting dust!


Where can I get more lessons on how to use a SOAR in my classroom?

Refer to the Activities & Curricula page to download your choice of the several activities available; there are separate pages for grades PreK-5 and 6-12. Also on this page are links to other free resources and to the K-5 inquiry guides that are available for purchase from School Technology Resources.


Can I connect the SOAR to my interactive white board?

Yes! Most models of white board have a yellow, composite video input on it (check the bottom or side of the board). Near the yellow port will be a button that will change the input settings so that your board will recognize the signal from the SOAR. It is difficult to give complete instructions because every manufacturer/model of board is different.

The SOAR can also be connected through some models of document cameras and/or it can be plugged directly into a video projector.


If I have a general question about the Scope-on-a-Rope, who should I contact?

Dr. Sheri Wischusen 
Phone:  225-578-0405
Fax: 225-578-7627

LSU College of Science    
124 Hatcher Hall 
Baton Rouge, LA  70803

Hand-Held Microscope User’s Guide

This guide provides detailed, step-by-step instructions for setting up and using the Scope-On-A-Rope, L2, and ProScope microscopes.