What you need:
- A stereo microscope or biological microscope
- If using a biological microscope, a microscope slide
- Dust (easy to locate!)
- Paper and pen to draw your observations
- Optional: microscope camera to capture images of dust particles
If using a stereo microscope, place a small amount of dust on the glass stage. Try viewing the dust with only the light from beneath the stage, then only the light from above, and finally both lights together. What differences do you notice? Can you find any specific particles such as insect legs or carpet fibers? What about small rocks - can you tell what they are made out of?
If using a biological microscope place a small amount of dust (you may want to use an old toothbrush to do this) on the glass slide and place it beneath the microscope starting at 40x magnification. Once you have the dust particles in focus, move the slide a bit to view other particles. What do you see? Draw images of the particles you see. After you have viewed the dust a bit, you may want to place it on a depression slide with a cover slip and add a small drop of water. How do the particles change when water is added?
If you have captured some images of dust under the microscope we would love to see them posted on the Microscope World Facebook page.