Lesson 17 - Explore with Microscopes

Some people like to explore big places in the world, such as the rain forest or the bottom of the ocean. Other people like to find out about small things. What will you see if you cut open a green pea? How can you find out what a cat hair really looks like? The best way to find out about small things is to use a microscope. Microscopes make tiny things look big.

Most microscopes have two lenses. Lenses are like mirrors that magnify tiny things and make them look bigger. To use a microscope, place what you want to look at on the flat surface. The flat surface is called the "stage."

Lighting is important. The right lighting helps you see into the tiny world on your stage. If the object you are looking at is see-through, put a light under the stage. This way the light will shine up through the object. If the object is not see-through, put the light above the stage. Then the light will shine down on the object.

Place your eye against the eyepiece, and look through the microscope. Use the big know on the side of the tube to fix the first focus. This moves the stage closer to the eyepiece or farther away. Stop when the object looks almost clear. Then twist the fine focus while you peer through the eyepiece again. Keep fixing the fine focus until the object looks perfectly clear. Now you can really explore this new, little world.

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4th Grade Teacher
Nova Eisenhower Elementary
Davie, FL

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