How to observe cells under a microscope
- All living organisms are made up of cells.
- Cells are the smallest part of a living organism and are around 0.01 mm - 0.03 mm long.
- To look at a cell close up a microscope needs to be used.
Video - Observing cells with a microscope
Step by step
Try the experiment online
Try out this experiment in Atomic Labs. Go to the Biology lab and try the Investigating onion cells experiment.
How to use a microscope
Move the stage (the flat ledge the slide sits on) down to its lowest position.
Place the glass slide onto the stage. Be careful pushing it under the clips that the cover slide doesn't move or crack.
Select the lowest power objective lens.
Turn the coarse focus knob slowly until you are able to see the cells.
Turn the fine focus knob slowly until the cells are in focus and you can see them clearly.
Repeat steps 1-5 using the higher power magnification to see the cells in more detail.
To see an object, the eye piece lens and the objective lens magnification are multiplied together to give the total magnification.
Total magnification = eye piece lens magnification × objective lens magnification
For example: 10 × 20 = 200
Magnification = 200