Microscope Invention- sunlight, mirrors and beautiful reflections!

Our Science Unit Block is currently the Invention of the Microscope and it’s uses. We began our study reading a few pages in our book titled, Inventions That Shaped the World ;The Microscope by Christine Peterson.

It took many generations and a lot of trial and error to build the first microscope! They first had to understand how light, vision and magnification worked together.  Philosophers such as Pythagoras looked for the source of light. Is is a particle or a piece of solid material or is it a kind of moving energy? Aristotle suggested light moves in waves, suggesting that light waves flow in straight lines until something blocks their path.

So, let’s have some fun experimenting with light and movement and colors!

We headed out to our porch, luckily there was a little area of sun shining on it! We set down several containers filled them with water and then added small round mirrors, just like a microscope. We figured this must have been part of an earlier trial by scientists, as they discovered how light reflecting on a mirror doesn’t exactly show you bacteria, cells and organisms, however before the microscope could be built, one would have to experiment with light and water movement/ distortion- all important information!


Our pans filled with water, and small mirrors.

Observed mirror and water reflection on the celing.

Observed mirror and water reflection on the ceiling.


What happens when we add distortion?

Now lets play with light and color!

Can you see the distortion more clearly and how the water settles back down?

(This was our favorite part! So pretty!!) The boys added food coloring to the water and made up their own combinations. One great observation we made was, that in the green pan only the mirror showed that the water was purple and the rest looked brown?! 😉 (wink, wink)

Let's add colors!

Let’s add colors!

Beautiful Blue!

Beautiful Blue!


Orange! Look at the rays!



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