From first grade classrooms to college biology labs, there are many reasons microscopes are used in school. Microscopes open up an entirely new world that is hidden to the naked eye, allowing us to increase our understanding of cells, organisms, viruses, among others. Because of the vast amounts of knowledge one can learn from microscopes, choosing the right one for your classroom is hugely important. Which is why you may be wondering, “What types of microscopes are used in schools? How do you choose the right one for your classroom’s needs?
How to Choose the Right Microscope for Your Class
There are many elements to think about when choosing the best microscope for your class. Make sure you do your research before you make your purchase. Here are some things to consider when deciding on which microscope best fits your needs:
- Simple vs Compound: A "simple" or monocular microscope has just one lens, while a compound microscope includes both an eyepiece and an objective lens. Experts recommend a compound lens for the classroom to help students better view the specimen.
- Microscopy: Different microscopes magnify at different levels. For schools, the best microscopy range is usually 10-400x.
- Inspection/dissection scopes: Inspection/dissection scopes show the details of larger specimens at 20-30x microscopy, and the image is inverted. These are popular for middle school science classes.
- Zoom magnification: Zoom magnification is usually not necessary for classroom microscopes. Cheaper zoom optics usually have aberrations that make it difficult to see the specimen.
- Binocular eyepieces: Binocular eyepieces offer a stereo view that can be useful for older students, but is usually not necessary for the youngest users, since they may have trouble operating or seeing through the binocular piece.
Features to Look For
When shopping for a microscope for the classroom, look for models that are durable, easy to use, and offer very clear focus. Toy/plastic microscopes usually do not offer all of these features, so it’s best to look for a metal body with metal focus gearing. If you’re choosing a compound microscope, make sure it has a 3-lens turret and a function to control brightness.
Our favorite microscopes for classrooms include the following:
- Meiji EM-20 LED Stereo Microscope, Rechargeable. The Meiji Techno EM Series is an entry-level microscope designed classrooms. The EM-20 is a complete microscope system with 10x eyepieces, energy-efficient LED illumination, stand, intensinity controls, and robust metal body. It is lightweight and designed withstand years of usage. The microscope is rechargeable and allows for cordless use. For digital features, browse our student microscopes with camera section.
- ACCU-SCOPE EXC-120 LED Microscope. The EXC-120 offers exceptional value for any classroom. It has a rackless mechanical stage and bright LED illumination. The cast alloy aluminum frame is designed years of heavy use in the classroom.
- Labomed CxL Cordless Microscope. The CxL features quality optics, ergonomic design, and LED illumination with variable control. This model is recommended for high school and university use and offers outstanding value. You can also add a digital eyepiece camera for more possibilities.
Find the Perfect Microscope Today
Microscope International is your one-stop-shop for all of your classroom microscope needs. We offer Free Service Protection with the purchase of every microscope and provide unparalleled customer service and expertise in the industry. Check out our FAQ page to learn more, then browse our online inventory to find the right microscope for your classroom. Contact us today with any questions you might have.