Few research instruments are as widely used in science as are microscopes. They are very extensively utilized in universities, industries, hospitals, specialized assay services, forensic labs, mineralogy, crystallography, etc. Microscopes and microscopy recently have become more available and more adapted for science education, beginning in primary (elementary, grade) schools. For those of us working with microscopes, they not only let us do our specialized job in scientific research, but also provide quite a lot of fun.
In addition to learning how to operate light microscopes, young students will relate this to many other areas of knowledge and activity. Coursework with microscopy teaches at 2 distinct levels: direct knowledge, and indirect knowledge. Direct knowledge covers essentials in optics, design and features of different microscopes, specimen preparation, imaging, and measuring. Microscopy in secondary schools should include introductory instruction about electron microscopes, crystallography and diffraction, and, spectroscopy. Indirect knowledge is given when an image from microscopy is shown to illustrate a didactic subject in some other course (e.g., flowers or minerals, disease bacteria or viruses, the human eye, biofilms, LEDs, solid state computer devices, normal and cancer cells, polymers, etc.). Understanding microscopy thus helps students to learn about many other subjects. Specimens selected for classroom use always should include some objects already familiar to students, and, be coordinated with concurrent other courses.