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K-12 Educational sites
History of Microscopy
The microscope opened our eyes to a previously unseen world. See some of these interesting historical narratives for more of the history of microscopes:
- The History of the Microscope (a brief history, from Microscopy-UK, an amateur microscopy site). Another resource is the History of the Microscope outline at About.com.
- Biographical information about Antony van Leeuwenhoek, a pioneer in biological microscopy. There's Leeuwenhoek Legacy (a review of Brian Ford's book about his discoveries in the archives of the Royal Society of London) and the Leeuwenhoek site at UC Berkeley.
- UC Berkeley also has a short biographical page on Robert Hooke, who's book Micrographia is a classic in biological microscopy.
- Rockefeller University has an all-too-brief page hinting at the history and importance of the electron microscope in cell biology. The page is called Journey into the Cell.
- For electron microscopy there's The History and Development of The Scanning Electron Microscope, the History of the Building of the 1938 Toronto transmission electron microscope and a brief autobiography of Nobel prize winner, Ernst Ruska.
Old microscopes evidence a kind of beauty that comes from the craftsmanship of their makers. Here are several places to see images of old microscopes:
- The Moody Medical Library's collection of historical microscopes (University of Texas Medical Center at Galveston)
- 19th Century American Microscope Makers (AmericanArtifacts.com)
- Museum optischer Instrumente - Mikroskope (descriptions are in German, by Timo Mappes)
- Antique microscopes & accessories (ARS machina.com)
- Museum of Microscopy (Molecular Expressions, Florida State University)
- The Golub Microscope Collection (University of California at Berkeley)
- The Jerome J. Paulin Electron Microscopy Museum (University of Georgia)
On-line Adventures in Microscopy
Here are some fun places to visit that use microscopy:
- Cells Alive!
- The Microbe Zoo (Michigan State University)
- The Ant: A Morphological Tour of the Super Organism (Jason Libsch, Wesleyan University)
- WebCytology and Cellupedia (ThinkQuest Contest Winners)
- The Visible Embryo (Sponsored by a Small Business Innovative Research Grant from The National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development)
Fun Science Gallery - Microscopy & Optics
An Introduction to Optics & Microscopy
Optics can be a complex subject for K-12 students. Here are some interesting sites that keep the physics to a manageable level:
- Optics for Kids - Exploring the Science of Light (Optical Society of America)
- How Light Works (How Stuff Works)
- Seeing Exhibits (The Exploratorium)
- Introduction to Optical Microscopy and Photomicrography (more advanced mathematics & science skills required, Molecular Expressions - Microscopy Primer, Florida State University)
- Optical Illusions - the eye is easily fooled (Sandlot Science).
Curricula, lesson plans & other resources
Here are some microscopy and/or imaging related materials for teachers:
- Project Micro (Microscopy Society of America) This excellent site is the work of Caroline Schooley, a retired microscopist, and includes an extensive bibliography. Her work has resulted in a Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) book on microscopy. There are companion exercises to the book at the Minnesota Microscopy Society and at Cornell University.
- Microscope Labs (Boston Museum of Science)
Microscopic Adventures (GreatScopes.com)
These sites include links to other useful microscopy & biology related web sites:
- K-12 Educational Microscopy and Young Scientist Websites (Molecular Expressions, Florida State University)
- Microscopes and Microscopy for K-12 (MicroWorld: Guide to Online Microscopy and Microanalysis Resources)
- Educational Web Sites (Electron Microscopy Outreach Program, San Diego State University)
For those interested in microscopy as a hobby:
- Microscopy-UK (probably one of the best amateur microscopy sites out there, with a great deal of helpful information for the new hobbyist)
Buying a Microscope
These links are for teachers or hobbyists interested in advice about purchasing a microscope:
- How to buy School Microscopes (ProjectMicro, Microscopy Society of America)
- Choosing a microscope (Brunel Microscopes)
- How to buy the Right Microscope (GreatScopes.com)