1. Slide Preparation & Motion

Instructions (Part I): Cut out a small section of paper with the letter “e” on it using scissors. Make sure the “e” is small enough to fit comfortably under the cover slip. 

Instructions (Part II): Place the cutout of the letter “e” in the center of the microscope slide and using the dropper, place a drop of water on top of the letter “e”. Be careful not to use too much water; just enough to cover the letter is sufficient.

Instructions (Part III): Holding the cover slip by the edges (using tweezers if needed for precision), place one edge down on the slide near the water droplet, and then slowly lower the other edge to avoid trapping air bubbles under the cover slip. See image below and this video for preparation assistance if needed: 

Instructions (Part IV): Place the slide on the microscope stage and secure it with the stage clips. Start with the lowest power objective lens. Use the coarse focus knob to move the stage up, bringing the slide closer to the objective lens. Look through the eyepiece and slowly adjust the focus until the letter “e” comes into view. Once the “e” is roughly in focus, switch to a higher power if desired and use the fine focus knob to clarify the image. Observe how the image of the “e” appears upside down and reversed. This is a normal characteristic of compound microscopes. Experiment with moving the slide up, down, left, and right. What do you notice? Share your thoughts with your partner and/or group. See the video below as a guide: