Design Challenge: Prepare a Microscope Slide

Design Challenge: Prepare a Microscope Slide
Dry Prep Slide

In this design challenge: prepare a microscope slide we will determine what is on three different slides and learn to prepare our own slides. Students will be given 15 minutes to understand how a microscope works and how to prep and place a slide. Then using the microscope, they must determine what they are looking at.

The key to this Design Challenge is quickly learning how to properly use a microscope and slides. Students will also integrate lessons about light and energy in to this challenge. Lastly, they must integrate their lesson and learning to come up with a hypothesis of what they are seeing.

The Design Cycle

Using The Design Cycle

At Mezzacello I use the Design Cycle all the time. It’s the best way to teach and learn because it works like how children play. In this design challenge we will be playing with materials and light!

The most important part of the Design Cycle, in my opinion, is the analyze and modify section. this is where we see if it is actually going to work, and then we can either try to redesign or rebuild something to make it better. The design cycle helps us remember where we are so we have a better idea of where we want to go.

Safety Challenge

Since students are not 100% sure what they will be looking at on their slides, it is important that glove protocols be followed. Students should NOT touch slides with their bare fingers. Bare fingers leave oils on slides and can make it hard to see.

In addition there might be a bacteria that we do NOT want to touch directly. Glove protocol will be covered and enforced. It will be a fun experience for all and safe.


  • Gloves
  • Microscope slides
  • Microscope
  • Power source
  • Biomaterials
  • Q-Tips
  • Pipettes

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