Magic Microscopes

Course Overview


This prior-learning course explores the technology and functions of compound light microscopes.  Useful in a number of Ecolinc on-site programs and of course in your school’s 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. This online tool could also be used as a stand-alone course or as a prior-learning tool to prepare students for their Ecolinc onsite program. This knowledge is a prerequisite to a number of Ecolinc’s onsite programs, namely, ‘What’s under the microscope‘ (Years 7 & 8) and ‘Cells in Action & Functioning Organisms’ (Year 11).

Prior knowledge

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

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
Victorian Curriculum descriptors
Level 7 & 8 VCE 1 & 2
Science Understanding

Cells are the basic units of living things and have specialised structures and functions

VCE Biology: Unit 1 AoS1 The ultrastructure of plant and animal cells in terms of their organelles and identification of these organelles using the light microscope and electron micrographs
Science Understanding

Select and use appropriate equipment and technologies to systematically collect and record accurate and reliable data, and use repeat trials to improve accuracy, precision and reliability

Course Development Team Leaders

David Tait and Jo Tate Estimated Duration: 25 minutes