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Exploring with Microscopes

Exploring with Microscopes

Taking a closer look at our world

Microscopes let us view an invisible world – the objects around us that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Learn more about how microscopes work and how they can shed light on plant structure, cells, earthquake processes and more.

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Finding your way around

There are several different ways to discover the site's resources and their related content, along with ideas for grouping them for teaching opportunities:

  • The collections contain groups of related resources about Exploring with Microscopes.
  • The Connections tool is a visual interactive pathway to discovering the resources and related content for Exploring with Microscopes.
  • The printable context overview will assist teachers to find pathways through this context and to plan lessons and units of work.

Collections | Connections | Context overview (PDF 63 kB)


    Magnification and resolution

    Microscopes enhance our sense of sight. They make things appear bigger (magnify them) and increase the level of detail we can see (resolution).

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    Animal cells and their shapes

    Animal cells come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. We can learn a lot about what a cell does by looking at its shape.

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    Harakeke under the microscope

    Microscopes were important in recent research on harakeke (native New Zealand flax) at the University of Otago. Scientists and weavers worked together to compare the microscopic qualities of harakeke...

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    Squishy rocks and earthquakes

    Deep below the Earth’s surface, rocks get ‘squished’ under pressure (instead of breaking), but can this tell us anything about how earthquakes happen? Professor Dave Prior from the University...

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Which microscope?

Explore the features of different microscopes and learn how scientists choose which ones...


NZ Research

NZ Research collection.
NZ Research collection. This collection provides information about the work of New Zealand’s world-class science and technology sectors in relation to Exploring...

Science Ideas and Concepts

Science Ideas and Concepts collection.
Science Ideas and Concepts collection. Scientific study requires a basic knowledge and understanding of ideas and concepts. This collection explains the ideas that are...

Looking Closer

Looking Closer collection.
Looking Closer collection.
This collection contains a wide variety of resources and information about Exploring with Microscopes, which supports the resources in the...


People collection.
People collection. This collection introduces some of the people working or studying in the areas explored in Exploring with Microscopes. Click on a name to...

Teaching and Learning Approaches

Teaching and Learning Approaches collection.
Teaching and Learning Approaches collection. Student activities are the main feature of this collection, along with a variety of resources for teachers to use in exploring Exploring...


Timeline collection.
Timeline collection. An interactive look at some of the key advances in microscopy.

Question Bank

Question Bank collection.
Question Bank collection. An inquiry approach is a method often used in science education. The question bank provides an initial list of questions about Exploring...

Key Terms

Key Terms collection.
Key Terms collection. This resource provides explanations of the key concepts encountered when exploring Exploring with Microscopes – the ‘basics’ that...

Sci Media

Sci Media collection.
Sci Media collection. This collection is where you can find all the images, video clips and interactives that relate to Exploring with Microscopes.

Science Learning Hub Survey 2014

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You're invited to participate in an online survey about the New Zealand Science Learning Hub. This survey was designed to help Hub staff enhance and develop further the site. This is different from our November 2013 survey, so even if you took part in that survey, we would appreciate you taking this survey as well.

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