Different Types of Microscopes for Kids and Students of all Ages 

 August 9, 2022

Written by Yemisi Iyilade, Project Management Consultant, Scientist & Innovation Expert.

Are you seeking the finest microscopes for your children? There are several types of microscopes with incredible new technologies and features to explore if you know what you’re looking for.

Whether your child is a budding scientist or just curious about the world around them, a microscope is a perfect tool for exploration.

Most of today’s microscopes are digital, using a camera to magnify things and make them visible on a monitor or computer. They are a great option for kids who are interested in science and want to explore the world around them.

A digital microscope comes with software that allows a child to produce photographs or films of his or her discoveries. This I think is an excellent technique to preserve observations and share them with family and friends at a later time.

The good news is that you have a wide range of variety from simple versions to more complex options, so that you may choose the model that best fits your child’s requirements.

In this blog article, I’d like to write about the four most common types of microscopes for kids and students of all ages, so you can make an educated selection for your needs.

What are the different types of Microscopes?

When it comes to microscopes, there are four main types that are used most frequently. These are the compound microscope, the stereo or dissecting microscope, the digital microscope, and the electron microscope.

Each has its own unique purpose and offers different advantages, that make it ideal for certain tasks. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

1) Compound Microscope

compound microscope

Compound microscopes have two lenses, one placed on top of the other. The bottom lens called the ocular lens is held near the eye, and the second lens, called the objective lens is located in front of the ocular lens.

The objective lens is used to magnify the specimen, while the ocular lens is used to magnify the image created by the objective lens. The two lenses work together to give the user a magnified view of the specimen.

Compound microscopes can magnify objects up to 1000 times their original size. This makes it the perfect microscope for viewing cells, and bacteria, and useful for studying small objects and other tiny organisms.

They are the most common type used in classrooms and research laboratories, to examine small objects such as cells. It is also used in classrooms to help students see small objects that they would not be able to see with the naked eye.

2) Stereo microscope

stereo microscope

A stereo microscope is a type of optical microscope that uses two separate microscopes to create the illusion of depth. This gives the user the ability to see three-dimensional details of an object.

The stereo or dissection microscope is frequently utilized by scientists to examine plant and animal tissues, with its two eyepieces and three-dimensional perspective aiding in cell and tissue examination.

Stereo microscopes are often used in fields such as medicine, engineering, and biology. They can be used to examine small objects, such as cells, bacteria, and insects.

There are two main types of stereo microscopes: Monocular and Binocular. Monocular stereo microscopes have one eyepiece, while Binocular stereo microscopes have two eyepieces.

Also, Monocular microscopes are less expensive than binocular microscopes, but they might be more difficult to use. Binocular microscopes are more costly, but they provide a greater perspective of the thing being examined.

If you’re thinking of buying a stereo microscope, there are two main things to bear in mind. The first is selecting between monocular and binocular microscopes, and secondly, thinking about your budget since stereo microscopes vary considerably in price.

No matter what your needs are, there is a stereo microscope that is right for you. With a little research, you can find the perfect microscope for your needs and budget.

But always start by considering the type of work you’ll be doing with it. If you’re looking at tiny things like cells or insects, a stereo microscope is a wonderful choice. If you need to examine larger objects, such as rocks or plants, you might want to consider another type of microscope.

3) Electron Microscope

transmission electron microscope

The electron microscope is the most powerful type of microscope available today. It uses a beam of electrons instead of light to create an image. This makes it possible to see much smaller things than with a light microscope.

It is often used to study very small things like viruses and bacteria. It can also be used to study the structure of materials at a very small scale.

The most common kind is a transmission electron microscope (TEM). This powerful tool allows scientists to see things at the atomic level. It can be used to study everything from atoms and molecules to viruses and even entire galaxies.

But how does this incredible instrument work?

In a transmission electron microscope, a beam of electrons is transmitted through a very thin specimen, typically just a few atoms thick. The electrons interact with the atoms in the specimen, and this interaction produces a variety of signals that can be detected and used to reconstruct an image of the specimen.

One of the most important things to remember about transmission electron microscopes is that they are very delicate instruments. They must be operated in a clean environment, free from dust and other contaminants. The slightest bit of contamination can ruin an entire experiment.

4) Digital Microscope

digital microscope

A digital microscope is an amazing tool that can be used to view very small objects. They are often used in research and education, as they allow for a high level of magnification.

Digital microscopes usually have a video camera attached, which allows you to view the image on a monitor or computer screen. This makes it easy to take pictures or videos of what you are seeing.

Digital microscopes can be used to view a variety of things, including cells, bacteria, and even viruses. They are also sometimes used to inspect electronic components or to examine very small objects.

One advantage of digital microscopes is that they allow you to capture photographs or videos of your sample. When attempting to document your discoveries, this can be really useful. They are also a lot less expensive than traditional microscopes.

The major disadvantage of digital microscopes is that they can only be used on translucent or transparent items. They also don’t have the same level of magnification as electron microscopes, either.

Despite their disadvantages, digital microscopes are becoming increasingly popular, due to their low cost and ease of use. If you are in the market for a microscope, a digital microscope is a great option to consider.

Best Microscope kit for kids

1) The AmScope digital microscope kit

All-Metal Optical Glass Lenses Student Biological Compound Microscope is one of the best microscopes and a great option for kids who are interested in science and want to explore the world around them.

Its features include:

  • Beginner compound microscope provides high magnification for educational applications
  • Monocular viewing head with LED and mirror illumination and built-in color filter wheel.

It also comes with a 52-piece accessory kit and hard-sided plastic ABS case. Kids can explore everything from small insects to cells. The built-in Digital Image Processing software lets you capture, edit and measure images for further analysis.

2) The Microscope Biological Kit for Kids

This is perfect for kids who want to get a closer look at the world around them. The biological microscope uses an excellent optical system and upgraded achromatic objectives to ensure clear and sharp imaging.

Its features include :

  • 10X eyepiece,
  • 25X eyepiece and with 4X, 10X, 40X rotating objective lens,
  • can provide 10 different magnification settings, including 40X, 80X, 100X, 200X, 250X, 400X, 500X, 800X, 1000X, 2000X.
  • The focusing technique may be rotated using a hand wheel on the light microscope, which is simple to use and focus quickly. Even 5-year-olds can switch between methods in less than a minute.

The Microscope Biological kit is a great way for kids to get a closer look at the world around them. With a magnification of 40x-2000x, this microscope lets kids see things they never knew existed.

3) The National Geographic Dual LED Student Microscope

This is perfect for kids who are interested in science and nature. With two built-in LED lights, kids can see clearly even in low-light conditions. The microscope also comes with a carrying case, so kids can take it with them wherever they go.

Its features include: –

  • Large focus knobs, a soft-touch eyepiece, and an adjustable platform make it easy to keep specimens positioned just right.
  • Complete science experiment kit – With a pipette, specimen dish, tweezers, and easy-to-follow instructions.

It makes a perfect gift that will keep your child entertained and engaged. With a magnification of up to 400x, the National Geographic Student Microscope is a great way for kids to learn about the world around them.


What is the history of the microscope?

The microscope has been a key tool in the field of biology for centuries, playing a vital role in the studies of cells and tissues.

Some of the earliest microscopes were developed in the Netherlands during the 16th century, but it was Galileo Galilei who is credited with building the first compound microscope in 1609. His design used a convex and a concave lens to magnify objects by about 30 times.

Toward the end of the century, two Dutch researchers, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and Zacharias Janssen developed primitive versions of the instrument.

The compound microscope went on to be improved upon by many different scientists and engineers over the next few centuries, with the biggest breakthrough happening in 1873 when Ernst Abbe designed a new type of objective lens that greatly increased the resolution and efficiency of the microscope.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, new optical technologies were developed that improved manufacturing processes, allowing for the creation of microscopes that could see increasingly tiny aspects of nature.

Today, microscopes are an important instrument in a variety of disciplines, including medicine, biology, and engineering. They’ve developed a long way from Galileo’s rudimentary design, but the fundamental concept hasn’t altered much. Making it possible to see things that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye by using lenses to magnify objects.

What is the best type of microscope?

There is no easy answer when it comes to the best microscope. Each type of microscope has its own strengths and weaknesses, and what may be the best for one person may not be the best for another.

The decision of which microscope to use ultimately depends on the specific needs and goals of the user. That being said, there are a few factors that can be considered when trying to decide which microscope to use.

The first is the type of sample that will be observed. Different microscopes are better suited for different types of samples, so it is important to choose a microscope that is compatible with the sample that will be examined.

Another factor to consider is the level of detail that is needed from the observations. Some microscopes are better able to provide high-resolution images than others, so if fine details are important, it is necessary to choose a microscope that is capable of providing them.

Finally, the budget of the user is also an important consideration. Microscopes can vary widely in price, so it is important to choose one that fits within the budget of the user.

Ultimately, there is no single “best” type of microscope. The best microscope for a given person depends on that person’s specific needs and goals. By taking into account the factors discussed above, however, it is possible to narrow down the choices and choose a microscope that is well-suited for the task at hand.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!

What is the science behind a microscope lens?

If the function of the microscope is to enhance objects that are too little for the naked eye to detect, its science will be based on refraction, in which light waves bend as they pass through a medium.

The amount of bending will be determined by the medium’s properties and the wavelength of the light, as light is bent via a lens. The bending of light waves results in an image, and the amount of magnification is determined by how strongly the lens bends the light waves.

The compound microscope, for example, utilizes two lenses to magnify a substance: the eyepiece and the objective. The eyepiece is the lens closest to the eye, while the objective is the lens closest to the object being observed.

Magnification is determined by the ratio of the eyepiece’s focal length to the objective’s focal length. If the eyepiece has a focal length of 15mm and the objective has a focal length of 30mm, the magnification would be 15mm/30mm, or 0.50x. This means that the image would be magnified to half its original size.

What is the difference between a telescope and a microscope?

A telescope is an instrument that is used to observe distant objects, while a microscope is an instrument that is used to observe small, close-up objects.

Both instruments have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. For instance, a telescope can allow you to see things that are very far away, but it cannot provide as much detail as a microscope.

On the other hand, a microscope can provide you with a great deal of detail about small objects, but it cannot show you objects that are very far away. Ultimately, the choice of which instrument to use depends on what you want to observe.

If you’re interested in studying distant objects, then a telescope is the better choice. However, if you’re interested in studying small, close-up objects, then a microscope will be a better choice.

Whatever instrument you choose, make sure that it is suited for your specific needs.

At what age can children use a microscope?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the child’s level of interest and ability. Some children may be ready to use a microscope at age six or seven, while others may not be interested until they are older.

If your child shows an interest in using a microscope, it is worth exploring further. There are many different types of microscopes available, so it is important to find one that is suitable for your child’s needs.

Which microscope is used most often with students?

The best microscope for students use is the compound light microscope. This type of microscope uses a lens system and light to magnify objects.

The lenses in a compound light microscope are usually oil immersion lenses. These lenses are able to provide a higher level of magnification than other types of lenses. Compound light microscopes also have a higher degree of resolving power than other microscopes.

This means that they are able to show more detail in an image. They are also easier to use than other types of microscopes, and they have a lower level of user error. These microscopes are the most popular type of microscope used in schools and colleges of learning.

Disclaimer: This site contains affiliate links which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you, if you purchase through the links. I only link to products, services and other businesses I believe will add value to you. Learn more from our privacy policy.

Yemisi Iyilade

Yemisi Iyilade is a Project Management Professional, PMP and Maxwell Leadership Coach and Trainer. She has worked in the environmental, nonprofit, and technology industries, developing new products and services, providing leadership, and facilitating meaningful engagement with stakeholders. Yemisi is driven by a mission to empower young people, women, and immigrant professionals through content delivery, coaching and training. She believes that if given the right tools and tactics, any motivated person can gain the awareness and grit needed to create better opportunities.


{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Keep reading