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Make a Microscope

Click here for a PDF version of these instructions.

microscope step one

  • Paper punch
  • Thin piece of cardboard (a postcard or file card)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Needle
  • Toothpick
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Glue
  • Eyedropper
  • Distilled water
  • Scissors
  • Flashlight or other light source

Step One: Punch a quarter-inch hole in the cardboard. Cut and glue a piece of foil on the card to cover the hole. Do not get any glue over the hole. Gently poke the needle through the foil. Make the pinhole round and smooth; the more round the hole, the better your microscope will work.

microscope step 2Step Two: With the tip of a toothpick, carefully pread a thin layer of petroleum jelly just around the hole on both sides of the foil. Make sure to keep the hole open, free of jelly. With an eyedropper, squeeze a drop of clean distilled water into the pinhole. The petroleum jelly should hold the water in the pinhole. You may have to tap the card gently to get the water

in the hole.

Step Three: Point the flashlight upward. Place the object you want to study over the light. Look at the object through the water drop.

29 Comments on Make a Microscope

  1. excellent !!!!!!!!!!

  2. Thanks a lot

  3. How does this work ? I’m doing a project and I need to know how it works

  4. um i dont think it works it dosnt have the rite tecnolagy but i will try it becaes it looks cool


  6. I love sience in fact I maybe a sientist when I grow up.

  7. My class once made a microscope but it was slightly different. ;)

  8. I have a real microscope at home.It sees cells,but not much though.

  9. i dont think it will work

  10. i need to do that :o :)

  11. a small person // September 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm // Reply

    It probibly dos’nt see cells just small detals.

  12. Lycanthrope // March 5, 2010 at 6:11 am // Reply

    You can just take a microscope slide and put a drop of tap water on it.

  13. IT REALLY WORKS!!!!!!!

  14. the scop was able to see cells

  15. Of course it does!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Does it really work?

  17. By using it can we see a cell?

  18. this will be cool it will probly be expensive for distilled water though

  19. that’s so primitive, it’s cool


  21. kongfu master // April 3, 2007 at 6:20 am // Reply

    this going to be cool

  22. Cool scope!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. I like your hobbies you hav on this website!!!!!

  24. Does it can see a cell?

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