Beginner Microscope Experiments


Many kids start exploring and being curious at a young age. They learn and ask questions about the world and how it works. It is essential for their growth and development, so do not stop them from trying things out. Encourage them to explore, so they will continue being interested. Eventually, they might develop a liking for science, which will greatly help them in school. Just make sure that you are guiding them, so they are always safe.

Girl using a kids microscope

Pay close attention to them, especially if you gave them some pieces of equipment like microscopes and others. It will allow them to observe and discover things that you cannot see with the naked eye. Follow instructions and join them in conducting experiments.

Don’t hesitate to learn with them through experience. With your help, they will understand the environment, their own body, the world, what makes it up, its functions, and many others. With their microscope, they will learn to pay attention to tiny details. 

There are many opportunities to learn through experience. Hands-on learning makes studying more enjoyable and avoids monotony. A great way is to discover things through experiments, but your learner has to learn the basics of microscopy. Then, make sure that your approach has to suits a beginner. Experiments have to be simple and easy to do. To help you out, here are some tips and some of the best microscope experiments for beginners.

Before doing experiments, your learner has some essential skills and information to have. You first need to teach them the parts of a microscope and their functions, how to prepare slides, basic safety rules of microscopy, and others. That will ensure that they won’t make damages or be safe from accidents while learning. You may also get some prepared slides and microscope staining kits to help them with their experiments. 

Remember, make sure that you are working in a clean environment. Wear proper attire like a mask, gloves, hair net, and lab coat, to avoid contamination.

Cheek Cell Experiment

You have cells that you can easily obtain. Cheek cells are eukaryotic and are often shed from the mouth lining. Use a sterile cotton swab and gently scrape the inside of your mouth, then get a slide to prepare a wet mount. It is better if you use a methylene blue solution on the sample. After preparing the slide, you may now view it in the microscope. Try to discern the organelles that you might find. Don’t forget to dispose of the used cotton swab properly. 

Hair Experiment

Take some hair samples and take a look at them under the microscope. You will see its different parts including the shaft (cuticle, cortex, and medulla) and root. You may also learn about how our hair gets nutrients and grows. Teach your learners about how inspecting a hair strand is important for forensic science. 

Hair Under a Microscope

Onion Cell Experiment

To observe plant cells, you may get an onion bulb. You will notice the presence of a cell wall, which cannot be found in animal cells. Take a tweezer to peel off a bit of membrane to prepare a wet mount. You may use a stain like iodine or methylene blue or not. Try it out and see the difference.

Leaf Structure Experiment

Looking at a leaf under a microscope may reveal various types of cells in an organism, but you may need higher magnifications to distinguish them. Observe its internal and external structures. Be careful as you might need to work with sharp objects. A dry mount will work best for samples like the leaf. 

Pollen Experiment

Pollen is composed of cells and is used as a gametophyte by plants for reproduction. Inspecting them under a microscope will be quite interesting since they have few cells that had undergone meiosis. Try to obtain healthy anthers from flowers and be careful, because you have to use a needle to scrape the pollen. If you think your learner is too young, assist them to make sure they won’t get hurt. Using fresh pollen is better, but you may dry and freeze them if you intend to use them later.

Sugar Experiment

Other than cells, you may also observe non-living things like some sugar. It is crystalline in structure and particularly fascinating to look at. Try looking at different types of sugar that you can find, and see if something sets them apart or alike. Get some samples and prepare a dry mount. You may learn about the geometric structures of particles using the microscope. 

Snowflake Experiment

You may view the unique structure and characteristics of snowflakes or “snow crystals” under your microscope. To observe it properly, you might need to preserve it using hairspray. Spray some on a glass slide and catch some falling snowflakes, then store it in a cool area and allow it to dry. The structure of the snow crystal will be left in the slide even if it melts. 

Yeast Experiment

Fungi are also nice to observe. An available sample you may have in your home is yeast. It is mostly used for making bread. These are interesting because unlike other samples from the experiments stated earlier, it is single-celled. They love sugar-rich habitats like flowers, fruits, and soil. There are many types of yeast that you can find like baker’s yeast, brewer’s yeast, and nutritional yeast. To observe it, you may need to look for a yeast cake and mix it with water. Use a dropper to put some of the glue-like mixtures onto your slide. This makes sure that the yeast is active to be observed properly. 

Yeast growing under the microscope

Insect Experiment

If you found some ant, or other insects dead and lying around the area, you may inspect it under the microscope. You might need to dissect it to observe it properly. Don’t let a learner too young to do this alone

Remember, different types of microscopes will allow you to investigate varying aspects of a sample. Do not forget to take note of your observations and make conclusions. Let your learners make their assumptions to get a gist of how much they learned.