Educator Resources for Virtual Labs: Using the Microscope

Using a light microscope is one of the basic skills of science laboratory work. In this interactive, students will learn how to choose the correct lens, adjust lighting and magnification, and prepare a slide for viewing on a compound optical microscope. The animation guides students through theory and practice of using a microscope, so that they will have familiarity with the equipment and procedures when encountered in a real lab. Students will need to handle the equipment and simulate the proper procedures to be able to move on to the next steps. This particular example focuses on viewing bacteria with different stains as a way to analyze whether a yogurt sample may be contaminated with a harmful pathogen. Educators with younger students may choose to concentrate their lessons on the main workings of the microscope as well as how to multiply for correct magnification. Educators with more advanced students can also use the interactive to introduce the process of Gram staining and the study of food safety.
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