One of the best tools you can purchase for studying science, especially in the middle school and high school ages, is a microscope. A good microscope can open up a whole new world to young scientists.
We teach that there are cells, bacteria and other organisms that are so tiny we can’t see them with the naked eye, but sometimes students file them in their brains as hypothetical. That is until they see these small wonders under a microscope. They suddenly become real for the first time.
Choosing A Microscope
I get questions all the time about what microscope to get for homeschool science. I thought I’d do a short video tour of my microscope, it’s features and what I like about it. Then, I’ll give you some written recommendations for buying your own microscope.
Suggested Basic Microscope Features
- Rotating eyepiece
- Magnification levels of 40, 100, and 400x
- Fine and course focus controls
- Order from a well known company or one that specializes in homeschool science (Nature’s Workshop Plus or Home Science Tools, for example. MicroscopeCentral.com is another good resource. Enter the code HSFREE in the comment box at checkout and receive a free set of slides!)
Suggested Microscope Upgrades (if money allows)
- LED or cool florescent light source (long bulb life, low energy usage, won’t overheat the specimen on the slide)
- Cordless (keeps kids from tripping over the cord; you don’t want at kid crying on the floor with a broken microscope on top of him)
- Mechanical stage instead of stage clips for easier movement of the slide while viewing
- Iris diaphragm for better control of the amount of light on your slide
- Oil immersion lens for advanced biology or microbiology study
Suggested Microscope Supplier (UPDATED)
Since first publishing this post, I have done some additional research into microscopes and where to purchase them. MicroscopeCentral.com has become a front runner in my mind for several reasons:
- Microscope Central specializes in microscopes
- Microscope Central stands behind their products with longer warranties than most other companies.
- Microscope Central carries parts for many of their microscopes, so parts can be ordered instead of an entire new scope.
- Microscope Central carry a quality homeschool scope that fits most of the criteria listed above at a great price.
- Order a microscope from MicroscopeCentral.com, enter the code HSFREE in the comment box at checkout, and receive a free set of slides!