Introduction to the Light Microscope

e-labStudents learn to use a basic light microscope by examining the structures and using a prepared slide of the letter “e” to practice focusing.  Activity includes step by step instructions on how to focus a slide on high power, something  beginner biologists often have difficulty with.  The instructions were made for basic light microscopes that have three objectives: scanning, low, and high power (400x), though it could be modified to work with other microscopes.

Students are also allowed to explore the microscope by looking at slides of common things and making sketches.  The worksheet includes basic questions about microscope use and an essay question about how to help another student focus using the high power objective.

Grade Level:  7-10 |  Time Required:  40-50 minutes

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