Microscope Lab

Author(s): Craig Didden & Brandon Duran
Microscopy - Teacher's Guide
SED 695B; Fall 2005

Topics addressed

7. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:

a. Select and use appropriate tools and technology (including calculators, computers, balances, spring scales, microscopes, and binoculars) to perform tests, collect data, and display data.

This lab is designed as an introduction to microscope use and microscopy for middle school students. We have included two activities. One of them is an activity that uses slides that the students create themselves using newsprint and the letter"e". Getting the students comfortable with microscope usage is often the most difficult part of this activity. It is very important that they understand how to use the microscope and how it works. There is a diagram link below. Have the students study this diagram so that they know the parts, which objective to use. It is very important that the students don't focus to close to the slide with the high power objective, as this can permanently damage the lens.

Study Guide:

This activity should be done using the low power objective

1. This activity works best with newsprint.

2. With your scissors cut out the letter "e" from the newsprint.
3. Place it on the glass slide so it looks like (e).

4. Place a cover slip over the letters.

5. Using the low power objective focus on the letter. Make some general observations about

Microscope Diagram

History of the microscope

Microscope Information


1. Did the letter appear in the same orientation when viewed through the microscope as viewed without the microscope?

2. When you move the slide to the right what direction does it appear to move under the microscope?

3. What happened to the image when you switched objectives?



This is a picture of a letter e shown at 40X. This slide was set up with the letter in the correct orientation. Notice that it appears upside down when viewed under the microscope.
This is a picture of the letter "e" shown at 100X. Notice, that as you increase the power of the lens, your field of view gets smaller.

What are you looking at? Try your luck with the images. Guess what you are looking at then put your cursor on the image.



Finger tip






References & Links:

Using the Microscope

History of the Microscope

Microscope Intro