Zoom Zoom: Magnificationby: M. Gail Jones, Amy R. Taylor, and Michael R. Falvo

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As science extends into the very large and the very small ends of the scale, the images of objects and materials lose recognizable contexts and can be very complex. New advances in microscopes and telescopes allow us to zoom in on very tiny and very distant objects and see amazing new worlds. This investigation involves students in thinking about the changes in scale that take place as we zoom in on very small and very large objects.

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Reviews (2)
  • on Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:26 PM

The author presents a thorough plan for introducing students to the concept of magnification. The students will enjoy looking at objects through tools with various magnification levels. Although they would enjoy it, it might be a bit simple for middle school students.

Steve  (St. Johns, FL)
Steve (St. Johns, FL)

  • on Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:30 PM

Students love to look at things under the microscope, especially at the middle school level. This is an interesting approach, using several different types of equipment and different objects. In a similar activity, we looked at object using a simple hand magnifier, and 40X-400X microscopes. Unfortunately, most schools that I am aware of do not have digital microscopes, which allow students to take shots of what they see. We used a single digital hand-held microscope and a DVR to share. This is a great activity to get students to understand scale, especially with insects and items that students found outdoors. Sugar and salt crystals are fascinating to them as well. Because my students were late elementary with a few middle school kids, we didn't get into the optics very much, but they did notice how the image is reversed. I thought that discussion was a lot to cover, at least with the younger students. Lots of good external links, and several interesting extensions, especially if you do not have access to all the equipment.

Jennifer Rahn  (Delafield, WI)
Jennifer Rahn (Delafield, WI)

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