18
$\begingroup$

My daughter is 5 and wants to learn about Biology. I thought a great start is to see life from pond water through a USB microscope. It would be great if she could see organisms like amoebas, flagellates and ciliates with her own eyes. The microscopes I have seen typically have a zoom range of about 40 to 400x.

Would this range be sufficient to see microscopic pond life?

$\endgroup$
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ +1 for awesome parenting and an intellectually curious child, as well as the good question. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Apr 22 '15 at 9:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's advised not to start using a regular (meaning here transmitted light) microscope with kids under the age of about 10-12. It has to do with their brain being insuffiently developed to relate the two dimensional microscopical image with the three dimensional reality... I wouldn't know. I'm not a psychologist nor a neurologist, but however I am a dad of a 10 years old girl and an avid amateur microscopist with some 45 years of experience in that field. When my kid turned 8, I gave her one of my microscopes: a nice Zeiss Standard. The first time we did some pond dipping together, we found som $\endgroup$ – guest Apr 17 '17 at 10:18
12
$\begingroup$

2019-05-01 Edited: Updated dead links

From the comment section:

I would go with a cheap one with a magnification of ~40X. According to this source, 10-20X is already sufficient to see large protozoans and algae in a pond. Here some suggestions on what you could look at.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Both links are dead now. $\endgroup$ – Piotr Chojnacki Apr 27 at 5:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @PiotrChojnacki Thanks for letting me know! The first link should be back soon (website is under maintenance). The second link is now restored (broke due to a change in the address name). $\endgroup$ – cagliari2005 May 2 at 6:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.