Microscopes Up Close and Personal
Microscopes help us to explore and investigate the microscopic world around us. Dating back to the 13th century, microscopes are an important piece of equipment for any science lab. With that being said, they are also an expensive piece of equipment that should be cared for and maintained to extend the life in the classroom, lab or field. The more students know about them and respect them, the longer they will last. Our friends at Ken-A-Vision have graciously shared their Microscope Primer with us which will help students learn about the different types of microscopes, the parts of a microscope, microscope illumination, how to use a microscope, and how to care for a microscope.
Before heading back to your classroom in the fall, your microscopes may need a little "TLC." Ken-A-Vision also has a Microscope Maintenance Tutorial discussing the proper ways to maintain your microscopes. Ken-A-Vision suggests that compound microscopes should generally be serviced after about 200 hours of use.
Did you know?
- The earliest simple microscopes were referred to as "flea glasses" because they were used for observing tiny insects.
- Marcello Marpighi, known as the father of microscopic anatomy, found taste buds and red blood cells.
- Robert Koch was a celebrated German physician and pioneering microbiologist. As the founder of modern bacteriology, he is known for his role in identifying the specific causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax and for giving experimental support for the concept of infectious disease. In addition to his innovative studies on these diseases, Koch created and improved laboratory technologies and techniques in the field of microbiology, and made key discoveries in public health.
- German engineer Carl Zeiss revolutionized the quality of lenses in the 19th century.
- The smallest object observed through a light microscope was 500 nanometers long.
- Microscopes have come a long way since the first "flea glasses." Students are able to observe small, microscopic organisms in great detail both in and out of the classroom thanks to all the advances of the microscopes available today. And just like the early inventors, a student's curiosity and love of science will help open the doors for new discoveries in the future.
While checking out the Microscope Primer on the Ken-A-Vision website, be sure to take a closer look at the other great teacher resources that include both teacher and student handouts for Visual Arts, Creative Writing, Journalism, Mathematics, Biology,Chemistry, Earth & Space Science, Ecology, Physics, andScientific Method. Don't forget to share these with your friends!