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Tools of Magnification

Author(s): Barbara Tharp, MS, and Nancy Moreno, PhD

Materials for a Group of Four Students

Before allowing students to carry microscopes to their work areas, demonstrate how to carry a microscope by placing one hand on the microscope stand (arm) and the other under the base (foot).

Part 1: Lenses & Magnification (one per student)

  • 4 index cards (or similarly sized sections of cardstock)
  • Sheet of wax paper (approximately 6 cm in length)
  • Dropper or pipette
  • Pair of scissors
  • Small container of tap water
  • Transparent tape
  • 4 small (approximately 2 cm x 10 cm) pieces of color newsprint. Select sections of paper that do not have printing on the back, so that colors will not show through under the microscope.
  • Other objects to observe, such as a leaf, coin, dollar bill, etc.
  • Copy of each of the two student sheets

Part 2: Microscopes (per group of students)

  • 4 hand lenses or magnifiers
  • 4 plastic cover slips
  • 4 plastic or glass microscope slides
  • Set of colored pencils or markers
  • Microscope


Place materials for each group on a tray and put in a central location for each group's Materials Manager to pick up. 

Funded by the following grant(s)

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Grant Number: 5R25RR018605