CATEGORY: VCE 1 & 2 Biology, Secondary, 7-8

Magic Microscopes

Course Access: Lifetime
Course Overview

Explore the technology and functions of compound light microscopes.  Useful in a number of Ecolinc on-site programs and of course in your own school laboratory.

Background Information:

Students are introduced to the parts of a compound light microscope, their use and the correct procedure for focusing on a prepared specimen through a short video and four interactive activities.

Year Level: 7 – 11

Prior Knowledge:

A basic understanding of cell structure and function will assist students in making the most of their microscopic adventures in this course.

Course Connections:

Does this course link to other Ecolinc programs?

This course is an ideal introduction/prerequisite to the following onsite programs:

or this course can stand alone as a learning experience.

Learning Intentions:

  1. Students will identify the different parts of a compound light microscope and their uses
  2. Students will be able to use a microscope to focus on specimens at different magnifications

Estimated Duration: 25 minutes

Victorian Curriculum:

Levels 7-8

Science – Biological Sciences

  • Cells are the basic units of living things and have specialised structures and functions (VCSSU092)
  • Multicellular organisms contain systems of organs that carry out specialised functions that enable them to survive and reproduce (VCSSU094)


Biology Units 1/2

  • Cells as the basic structural feature of life on Earth, including the distinction between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
  • The ultrastructure of plant and animal cells in terms of their organelles and identification of these organelles using the light microscope
  • The characteristics of the plasma membrane as a semi-permeable boundary between the internal and external environments of a cell
  • A study of one selected vascular plant with reference to how its cells are specialised and organised (cells into tissues, and tissues into organs) for the intake, movement and loss of water from the plant

Course Creators: David Tait and Jo Tate