Can your older students identify the parts of a microscope? Once your children start taking Science with labs they will become very familiar with a microscope and how it works. It is important to know what every part of the microscope is called and how it works. Make sure you download the free worksheet pack for labeling a microscope.
What are the parts of a microscope and their functions?
The three main structural parts of a microscope include the head, arms, and base. The head carries the optical parts in the upper part of the microscope. The base of the microscope is the support piece of the microscope and carries microscopic illuminators. Finally, the arm connects the base to the head and the eyepiece tube.
The eyepiece is also known as the ocular lens. This is the part used to look through the microscope and it is found at the top of the microscope. Standard magnification is 10x. The eyepiece tube holds the eyepiece.
The objective lenses are the major lenses used for specimen visualization. The different objective lenses have a magnification power of 40x-100x. There are 1-4 objective lenses on each microscope and each lens has its own magnification power. The nose piece holds the objective lenses and it is movable.
These are the knobs that are used to focus the microscope. There are two types of adjustment knobs – fine adjustment knobs and coarse adjustment knobs. The coarse focus knob is for initial or general focus. Then, the fine focus knob allows a slow but precise control to fine focus the image when viewing at the higher magnifications.
Stage and Condenser
The stage is the section on which the specimen is placed for viewing and includes metal clips. These stage clips hold the microscope slides in place. The microscope stage has a hole, called the aperture, through which the transmitted light from the source reaches the stage. The microscopic illuminator is the light source located at the base. It is used instead of a mirror. The condenser are lenses that are used to collect and focus light from the illuminator into the specimen. They play a major role in ensuring that clear, sharp images are produced with a high magnification of 400x and above.
How Light is Controlled
The light is controlled by the diaphragm, condenser focus knob, and abbe condenser. The diaphragm is also known as the iris and it’s found under the stage of the microscope. The primary role of the diaphragm is to control the amount of light that reaches the specimen. The condenser focus know moves the condenser up or down to control the focus of light. High quality microscopes will have an abbe condenser which allows very high magnification above 400x.
How do you identify parts of a microscope?
The best way to identify parts of a microscope is to work with a microscope in your homeschool. As your children learn the function of each part, they will better understand the whole microscope. Download the free worksheet pack below and start using it in your homeschool to help with labeling a microscope. Many libraries lend out science tools such as microscopes. So, if you don’t have your own, ask your local library if they have simple microscopes available for use.
What specimens to use with a microscope
Spend a day collecting some specimens from around the house or around the yard. Your kids will be amazed at what they can see under a microscope that they can’t see with the naked eye.
Here are some specimens you can collect at home and look at under the microscope:
- check cells
- onion skin
- yeast cells
- eggshell membrane
- pond water microorganisms
- soap foam
- salt, sugar, and pepper
Your kids will learn a lot by just using the microscope and exploring topics like the detailed structure of organisms, the properties of light, and the physics behind lenses and mirrors.
One extended microscope activity you can do with your kids is to analyze bacteria collected from different parts of the house. This might make some of your kids squeamish but it will show them how much we really can’t see with the naked eye. So, let your kids predict where they think they’ll find the most bacteria. Then, collect specimens and examine them under the microscope.
For example, is the most bacteria from the inside your pet’s mouth, a toothbrush, or perhaps the bottom of a shoe? Examine the slides each day and see if the bacteria continues to grow. Keep track of your hypothesis and record the daily results. The results might surprise you!
How do you label a microscope?
As part of your science studies, make sure you download your free copy of the microscope labeling worksheet. Then, use the worksheet pack and this post to talk through all the parts of the microscope with your kids. As you discuss the function of each piece, have them label the parts of a microscope on the printable. Once they have the microscope parts labeled, see if they can use the microscope to look at an image of the specimen.
Then, you can print out a fresh copy of the Microscope Labeling Worksheet and include a word bank if needed to see if your kids can remember each part.
Labeling a Microscope Game
Another fun option for labeling a microscope is to cut out the names of each part and make a game out of it! Put the word bank on the table with a blank diagram of the microscope and see how fast your kids can match up the correct term. You can even print out several of these worksheets and let the kids race against each other to see who can do it the fastest.
There are so many benefits to including the microscope in our homeschooling.
First, your kids will have an increased sense of problem solving and critical thinking. Next, they’ll have hands-on experience with scientific tools and add to their scientific vocabulary with words like slides, mount, stain. And of course, using microscopes in your homeschool will strengthen their observation skills!
Free Microscope Unit Study Download
Teach your children all they need to know about microscopes with this printable pack. They will learn how to label the parts of a microscope. You’ll also have information pages, definitions and more just a download and print away!
How to Download the Microscope Labeling Unit Study
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Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate)! She is a an eclectic, Charlotte Mason style homeschooler that has been homeschooling for almost 20 years.. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!