What can you see under a microscope? You can see things like bug wings and tiny bugs, flower petals and pollen, pond water, and more!
My most memorable Christmas gifts from Rob has been a microscope, given many years ago before we had any children. I had no idea I’d be writing about science but it was special to me because he was acknowledging and encouraging a subject area I loved very much! ♥ It was just a simple one from Canadian Tire (don’t all guys shop there for Christmas presents??!) but it still works the way it was intended to. But as our children grew older, a better microscope was definitely desired in our household so we invested in one of higher quality.
Currently, I am teaching a cells and genetics unit and so, a microscope becomes very useful! 🙂 It is an excellent time of year to learn about tiny things and then we can reinforce that at the end of the unit by taking a peek at pond water once all this snow disappears. (It’s been a long winter and we still have about 3 feet of the depth of frozen stuff out there in our yard. But spring WILL come!!!)
While we were going through our lesson today, I looked up a couple of teaching tips and links I had put in a former catalogue of ours so before I forget, I’ll quickly share them here with you:
Studying cell detail or mitosis? What about DNA and genetics? A good quality microscope will be needed for a clear, non-wiggly view of the parts of a cell. This is from my high school biology notes: “Chromosomes can be seen under a regular [student] microscope. Genes make up the chromosomes but you need an electron microscope to see them. DNA molecules make up the genes – [they are so tiny that] you cannot see them [except with professional equipment such as in a university research lab].” With a good microscope, you should be able to see mitosis (cell division) but you won’t be able to see the strands of DNA. Having said this, if a student wants to study karyotyping, you might consider an online matching activity that shows what human chromosomes/genes look like under an electron microscope at this website: https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/basics/
Full disclosure: We do not receive any compensation for recommending any of the websites mentioned in this post to you. They are simply suggestions which our family has found personally helpful in our science studies at home.
Because we live far away from any science supply store, we had to purchase a microscope through mail. We chose an student microscope from Home Science Tools (an American company) and have been very pleased with the quality and price of this tool.
If you are looking to purchase a student microscope (online or in a science supply store somewhere), the below website has some very helpful tips on what features you should look for and explains why: