Students understanding and use of a microscope does not have to wait to happen until they get to high school. As an elementary teacher, it is great to give your students a chance to see different organisms under the microscope. With this challenge students are taking their knowledge of what they have learned about cells and seeing it through to application. Students that have successfully completed this challenge have a deeper understanding of cells and their different parts.
Your students will need a poster for this activity and materials to represent parts of the cell. Have students bring in posters and art supplies if available. On each poster draw a large circle as the viewing area inside the microscope lens.
Microscopes are not required for this activity. If your elementary school does not have microscopes you could ask to borrow from a nearby middle/high school. You could also show picture examples to students or show a video clip. However, if you have a chance for students to complete an activity using microscopes then it will give them a better understanding of what they need to complete this STEM challenge.
Cells (Plant and Animal)
Habits of Mind
Engineering Design Process
Measurement: linear, scale to size
Area and Perimeter