K-12 Educational sites
|On this page: History | On-line Adventures | Introduction to Optics & Microscopy | Curricula & Lesson plans | WWW Resources | Amateur Microscopy | Buying a Microscope|
History of Microscopy
The microscope opened our eyes to a previously unseen world. See some of these interesting historical narratives for more of the history of microscopes:
- The History of the Microscope (a brief history, from Microscopy-UK, an amateur microscopy site). Another resource is the History of the Microscope outline at Thought.co.
- Biographical information about Antony van Leeuwenhoek, a pioneer in biological microscopy, can be found at the Leeuwenhoek site at UC Berkeley.
- UC Berkeley also has a short biographical page on Robert Hooke, who's book Micrographia is a classic in biological microscopy.
- For electron microscopy there's The History and Development of The Scanning Electron Microscope, the History of the Building of the 1938 Toronto transmission electron microscope and a brief autobiography of Nobel prize winner, Ernst Ruska.
Old microscopes evidence a kind of beauty that comes from the craftsmanship of their makers. Here are several places to see images of old microscopes:
- The Moody Medical Library's collection of historical microscopes (University of Texas Medical Center at Galveston)
- 19th Century American Microscope Makers (AmericanArtifacts.com)
- Museum optischer Instrumente - Mikroskope (descriptions are in German, by Timo Mappes)
- Antique microscopes & accessories (ARS machina.com)
- Museum of Microscopy (Molecular Expressions, Florida State University)
- The Golub Microscope Collection (University of California at Berkeley)
On-line Adventures in Microscopy
Here are some fun places to visit that use microscopy:
- Cells Alive!
- The Microbe Zoo (Michigan State University)
- The Ant: A Morphological Tour of the Super Organism (Jason Libsch, Wesleyan University)
- WebCytology and Cellupedia (ThinkQuest Contest Winners)
- The Visible Embryo (Sponsored by a Small Business Innovative Research Grant from The National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development)
- Fun Science Gallery - Microscopy & Optics
An Introduction to Optics & Microscopy
Optics can be a complex subject for K-12 students. Here are some interesting sites that keep the physics to a manageable level:
- Optics for Kids - Exploring the Science of Light (Optical Society of America)
- How Light Works (How Stuff Works)
- Seeing Exhibits (The Exploratorium)
- Introduction to Optical Microscopy and Photomicrography (more advanced mathematics & science skills required, Molecular Expressions - Microscopy Primer, Florida State University)
- Optical Illusions - the eye is easily fooled (Sandlot Science).
Curricula, lesson plans & other resources
Here are some microscopy and/or imaging related materials for teachers:
- Project Micro (Microscopy Society of America) This excellent site is the work of Caroline Schooley, a retired microscopist, and includes an extensive bibliography. Her work has resulted in a Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) book on microscopy. There are companion exercises to the book at the Minnesota Microscopy Society and at Cornell University.
- Microscopic Adventures (GreatScopes.com)
These sites include links to other useful microscopy & biology related web sites:
- K-12 Educational Microscopy and Young Scientist Websites (Molecular Expressions, Florida State University)
- Microscopes and Microscopy for K-12 (Microscopy.Info)
For those interested in microscopy as a hobby:
- Microscopy-UK (probably one of the best amateur microscopy sites out there, with a great deal of helpful information for the new hobbyist)
Buying a Microscope
These links are for teachers or hobbyists interested in advice about purchasing a microscope:
- How to buy School Microscopes (ProjectMicro, Microscopy Society of America)
- Choosing a microscope (Brunel Microscopes)
- How to buy the Right Microscope (GreatScopes.com)
Reviewed & updated 07/17/2017. Creation of this web page was originally supported as part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona, NIEHS P30 ES006694.