How to make a simple microscope at home?


The article explains the procedure to make a simple microscope at home for the kids and others alike. The materials required to make the simple microscope included only a plastic bottle and a plane mirror. Simple microscope is the practical application of the refraction of light through a drop of water. The article also explains the reasons why the simple microscope can be made with these objects.

Aim of the project

The aim of the project is to make a simple microscope at home using the most basic and cheap things available at home. The students, while studying their science as a subject fail to recognize the practical approach of the subject. Sometimes, it becomes difficult for them to take in whatever is taught in the class as their imagination fails to go beyond a certain reach. They need to be shown the practical approach to all the findings and observations written in their book. One of the way of doing this is to observe the beauty of nature under a microscope, specially the one designed by the child himself!

Materials required to make a simple microscope at home


• A see-through plastic bottle. It can be a soft drink bottle or any other bottle

• A scissor for cutting the strips from the bottle

• A plane mirror

• A drop of water

• The object that you want to view. It may be a leaf, a grain of wheat, any other flower petal, a pollen grain etc.


Procedure to make the simple microscope at home?


• First of all, you should not throw any of the soft drinks bottles as they may help you to make a simple microscope through which you can observe minute things and study them in details. Take a see through bottle which should be clearly visible and transparent. Cut out the mouth of the bottle which is the topmost part of the bottle. Start cutting the strips from the plastic bottle. You must cut out several strips from this bottle, both lengthwise as well as breadth-wise. See that you have cut almost 7 to 8 strips from the bottle. The aim of making such strips is to allow the light to pass easily through the bottle.

• After you have cut out the several strips from the bottle, you have to keep them safely and not just throw them out. One of these strips shall be needed to keep the object that you want to observe in details. Place this strips in such a position in the bottle with the help of various cuts or slits that we made in the bottle so that it can lift the weight of the object to be studied. Take another strip that will now be used to hold the drop of water through which you are going to view the object.

• See that the slide containing the drop of water is placed at the top and the slide containing the object is placed second. The base part of the bottle shall have a plane mirror kept in perfectly horizontal position. The reflective side or the top shining side the plane mirror must face the observer.

• Now, all your arrangements have come to an end. Look through the drop of water towards the object and you shall see that the object appears to be magnified in simple microscope at a much higher level than an ordinary binocular or a magnifying glass.

Why does the object appears to be magnified?

Water acts as a convex lens that converges all the light together. It makes the light rays to meet at a point after they passes through the drop of water. The plane mirror placed at the bottom of the bottle helps to reflect the light towards the drop of water and the object so that they can be viewed. This is the basic principle of light and the principle that is followed in the manufacture of the magnifying glass. Magnifying glass is nothing but the convex lens and the object always falls between its center and focus.

Another way to perform the same type of experiment at home

The activity described above can be modified a little to give the better results. Take a magnifying glass that is easily available in the market. Hold a convex lens between the magnifying glass and the object that you want to study. The object can be a leaf, a grain of wheat or rice, dust particle, an insect etc. Make a sketch in your notebook about what you observe through the glass and the lens and show your observations to your classmates and the teachers.


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