Our eyes are amazing but they can't allow us to see the hidden world of the small that surrounds us. Antonie van Leewenhoek built the first microscope over 400 years ago and was amazed at seeing red blood cells and bee wings. We'll bend light with a magnifying glass so that objects appear larger and try using 2 magnifying glasses together to compound the magnification. This will lead us to looking at the parts of a compund light microscope and examine how it works.
Each student will hold a model of a bacterium, virus, protozoan or cell so that we can see the variety of life on a small scale. We'll then look through the microscope sliders at cells, bacteria, and viruses. We'll also look at larger objects and use the microscope that we can see on the computer screen. We'll search through pond water to find water fleas, insect larvae and maybe some surprises.
Our project this week will be to design a thinking cap. The hat will have a brain cell or neuron on top. These cells have to be magnified over 300x to be seen clearly. The brain cell has a nucleus in the center and a long axon on the end to deliver electrical signals to the dendrites at the top of the next brain cell. This is the way our thoughts travel.