Project MICRO



Microscopic Explorations

Microscopic Explorations is one of over 70 guides in the GEMS series. The cost of its production was funded by several sources; we thank them for their generous support.

Brady, S., Willard, C. 1998; revised fourth printing, 2007 Microscopic Explorations 165 pp, paperback, 8.5x11", $23.00 plus $4.00 shipping. ISBN 978-0-924886-00-3 Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-5200; 510-642-7771, FAX (510)643-0309. Also available from many school supply catalogs, and web booksellers.

A collaboration between the Microscopy Society of America and the LHS has produced an outstanding Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) guide. It's written in "festival" format, with a dozen explorations that can be presented simultaneously to circulating groups of students. There is a rich assortment of supplemental information on microscopes and how to buy them, curriculum extensions, further reading, and sources of help. The units are more classic than unique; subjects include crystals, color printing, fingerprints, pond water, brine shrimp, etc. Its uniqueness lies in the carefully written "inquiry science" presentation of those topics and the thorough classroom testing of content that a GEMS guide receives. It will work well in any classroom; teachers aren't expected to have special skills. A Spanish translation of the copyable student worksheets is available online (four PDFs) at Grades 4-8.

A complete kit of the materials needed to present Microscopic Explorations is be available from Carolina Biological, as item #11-3251; for about $400; contact them at or 800-334-5551. Although the items needed to present any GEMS unit are inexpensive office, supermarket and hardware supplies the list for Microscopic Explorations is long and it takes time to assemble them, so this is a useful option; 8 handheld 30x microscopes and a copy of Microscopic Explorations are included.