Take science lessons from “Zzzzzz” to “Wow!” with these easy ideas for using the Zoomy Handheld Digital Microscope in your classroom!
Zoomy connects via USB to your computer, projector or digital whiteboard so the whole class can see. Zoomy also captures photos and videos that can be printed or shared online. Each project here takes about 10-15 minutes and shows kids their world in a whole new way!
Fabric Patterns: Grade 3 – 4
Gather different types of cloth, such as cotton, wool, burlap, and silk. Explain to students that much of the fabric we use to make our clothes is created by weaving very fine threads together! Then ask them to use math terms to describe the patterns formed in different types of fabrics, such as parallel, perpendicular, intersecting, acute angles, or obtuse angles.
Place the cotton cloth under the microscope. Have students identify any patterns they see. Encourage them to use accurate math terms. Take a snapshot of the fabric. Repeat this process with the other samples of fabric.
Breakfast Bars: Grades 2 – 4
Unwrap a variety of breakfast bars. Break off a piece of one bar and place it under the microscope. Have students identify the various grains, nuts or other ingredients embedded in the breakfast bar.
Encourage students to identify other physical properties like color and texture. Repeat the process with other breakfast bars. Have students print photos of different breakfast bars, label what they see in the snapshots, and compare and contrast the samples.
Seed Travel: Grades K – 3
Provide a variety of seeds such as watermelon, sunflower, apple, peach, and flower seeds. Discuss the different ways that seeds travel from a parent plant, such as hitchhiking on an animal’s fur, traveling by air, or floating in water.
Take magnified photos of seeds then have students label and categorize the seeds by their methods of travel.
Polygon Paths: Grades 1 – 4
Explain to your class that they will recreate the polygon you have on your Geoboard using only what they see presented to them through the Zoomy. Set up a simple triangle on your Geoboard, keeping it hidden from students’ view. Place the Zoomy lens over the rubber band and tell the students to watch as you begin traveling along the rubber band.
Have students verbally identify angles, vertices, and line segments as they are displayed. Next, have students try to recreate the same triangle on their own Geoboards. Repeat the activity using other polygons. Then have pairs of students repeat the activity with each other.
Fingerprint Classifications: Grades 1– 3
You’ll need a computer, printer, index cards, paper and ink pads. Explain to students that fingerprints may be classified as loops, whorls, and arches. Using a washable ink stamp pad, have each student make a fingerprint on an index card. Let each student use the microscope to take a magnified photograph of his or her fingerprint and print the image.
Have students sort the photos into each of the three categories. Ask students to create a bar graph representing the data. Discuss the results by asking questions such as: What category has the most photos? Which category has the fewest? Do you think the results would be the same for other classes?
Compare and Contrast: Grades 3-6
Use Zoomy to add zest to language arts, too! After discussing similes and metaphors, provide students with a wide variety of objects to look at with the Zoomy, such as fossils, shells, seeds, rocks, etc.
Have students view an object with Zoomy, then take a photo and print it. Encourage students to think creatively and write a simile or metaphor about the object as they see it with Zoomy. Then have them write another simile or metaphor about the object as they see it without Zoomy. For example, “The seed is smooth as silk,” or “The rock is as bumpy as the moon.”
That’s just zix ideas to get you started. We bet you and your students can come up with zillions of fun projects, science games for kids, and other cool ideas!
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