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Microscopes :: Where to Begin

Updated on January 1, 2011

Microscope :: Getting Started

There are many questions that come to mind when considering microscopes. Do I need one? What kind do I need? What's the difference among them? How much do they cost? The answers depend, of course, on your family's science enthusiasm and budget. Let's say you are looking to buy a "good" microscope, then where do you begin? Perhaps you already have a microscope and are now confronted with the problem of how to use it. What can I do with a microscope? How can I integrate its use in my science curriculum? What types of lessons are suitable for my children?

It is my hope that this lens will help you to get started. The resources and links provided here were compiled to not only help you to buy a microscope but also to help you to learn how to effectively use it in your classroom. Take a few minutes to browse around and please leave a little note on the bottom sharing your own tips. :D

Microscopes Microscopes Microscopes - I'm overwhelmed! Where Do I Begin?

Follow these links to learn more about microscopes and to help you make the best purchasing choice for your family.

A Short & Simple Tutorial - How to Use a Microscope

What Are You Looking For? - What led you to discover this page?

What are you most looking for in regards to microscopes?

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Brock Magiscopes are Great for Young Children

Brock Magiscopes are Great for Young Children
Brock Magiscopes are Great for Young Children

Lesson Plans & Printables

The resources listed here provide you with lesson plans to help you to integrate microscopes into your science curriculum.

Basic Vocabulary

A few key terms to get you started.

Depth of field How much of a three dimensional object can be seen in focus at any one time.

Eyepiece This is the top lens on a conventional light microscope.

Field of view The area visible through the microscope.

Focus To make the image sharp.

Focussing knob Two knobs that move the stage up and down until the image on the screen is sharp.

Object The thing being looked at using a microscope.

Objective lens This is the lens nearest to the object on a conventional microscope. Most microscopes have a low power, medium power and high power objective lens.

Magnification This is the difference between the sizes of an object and the image of it. Magnification is the image size divided by the object size.

Stage The platform onto which the object is placed for viewing with the microscope.

Transparent Light can be shone from below through transparent objects.

What Else Do I Need?

Many microscopes come with a small set of prepared slides to get you started. Once you are comfortable with using a scope, you'll want to start making your own slides to observe the micro-world that surrounds you. Here are a few things you will need.

Preparing a Wet-Mount Slide

What Microscope Do I Use?

When I purchased my microscope a year ago, my children were 3 and 5 years of age. I wanted a scope that while advanced now would grow with them and be suitable to them in their junior high years as well. I have been very happy with my choice.

Celestron 44104 500x Power Advanced Biological Microscope
Celestron 44104 500x Power Advanced Biological Microscope

This microscope features solid construction and all the basics. It is easy to set up and comes with a small set of prepared slides. The optics are fine for home use and it's easy to use.



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