You may believe that a microscope is difficult to make. After all, it seems to be a device that works with sophisticated mechanisms and materials to bring closer to the eye things that you wouldn’t usually see. Fortunately, if you are willing to invest in your child’s early scientific endeavors, you can buy microscopes that are specifically designed for young learners. However, if you are a bit handy with crafts, and also a passionate DIY-er, you will be happy to find out that making a microscope is possible.
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What materials do you need?
This may appear to be one of the most challenging parts of this project. After all, if you don’t have the same high-quality lenses manufacturers work with, how can you even think of making a microscope on your own?
The beauty of this little home project is that it can be done using nothing else but household items that you most likely have. In case you don’t, they’re not difficult to procure, so all in all, you should rest assured that you won’t have to break the bank to get all the materials you need.
Grab two pencils, a magnifying glass, some sticky tape (go for the transparent model), a flashlight, a syringe, and water. So far, this list doesn’t appear impossible to tackle, does it? Make sure that you also have an object that you want to observe through your microscope, and you’re set.
The steps for making a microscope
Now let’s get to the gist of the matter. This project is so simple that even kids can carry it on. The first step involves placing the two pencils on a flat surface, such as a table, at a couple of inches from one another. They should be parallel, and you must stick them to the table with some clear sticky tape.
Keep in mind that the sticky tape between the pencils should sit above the table. Next, take the syringe filled with water and let a small drop fall on the sticky tape. It is essential that this drop is tiny so that it can work as a convex lens.
Using the flashlight, project light from the top, so that it falls directly on the water drop. Put something underneath the sticky tape, as that will be your subject for observation. Now take the magnifying glass and look at the item through it and the water drop. You will notice how bigger it seems, and now you can observe details.
Of course, there are more complicated projects that involve building a microscope at home, but for more information on this, you will need to check other resources. The above recipe is the simplest you can find for making a microscope with very few supplies, and it is a fun project that children will love.
Some facts about microscopes
If you intend to build a microscope at home to get your kids interested in science, you should also teach them a few facts about this type of device.
For instance, you can tell them that the first microscopes were called flea glasses since people used them only to study insects, hence the name. Also, you can tell them about Robert Hooke, one of the prominent figures with a role to play in the history of the microscope. He was the one to discover cells, as he was examining the honeycomb construction of a piece of cork.
The importance of microscopes in today’s medicine is undeniable. But there were times when people didn’t know what caused diseases, and they thought evil spirits and other supernatural beings were responsible for them. All these aspects of the history of the microscope will surely stimulate your kids’ imagination and make them want to build one at home.