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Exploring Microscopes and Optical Science

How do lenses and cameras work? Why is there color? What do things look like up close? What is an Ames Room? What’s inside a drop of water? These are all questions that kids probably have, and many of us parents don’t have a ready answer for. Never fear! We have some STEM toys that can help you answer the unanswerable!

Thames & Kosmos 665005 Optical Science To start your voyage of curiosity, we recommend the Thames & Kosmos 665005 Optical Science kit. This kit looks incredibly fun, you and your children will learn about the color spectrum, build a camera obscura and try out 3D glasses. The camera obscura is a fun one as it uses a pinhole to help project an image onto another surface. Another fun project in this kit is an experiment with depth perception that involves an Ames Room. An Ames Room is basically a room with a wall that’s at an angle which allows one to use forced perspective to make something on one side of the room look larger or smaller than a thing on the other side. You will of course also learn about lenses and light refraction, and how that works to make objects look closer. These are just a few of the exciting science projects in this kit, and since it involves a lot of hands on and some fun tricks, it’s sure to be a hit.

Speaking of lenses and viewing things up close, what kid doesn’t like having a closer look at the world around them? A microscope, of course, is the way to go. But if you’re not sure of your son or daughter’s interest, you can get a beginner’s level microscope for under $10 with the Elenco EDU-41003. This microscope is very basic and uses a mirror to light the specimen under examination. This one includes one prepared slide and three blank ones, and it also emphasizes proper care of the lens, so if they enjoy it and take good care of it, you might want to reward them with the EDU-41002. The EDU-41002 includes quite a bit more with it, including:  extra slides, collecting vials and various tools. It also lights up, which is a nice feature to have. Elenco die-cast microscopeProbably the best microscope to get though is the EDU-41009. It’s a much sturdier, die-cast construction and it also lights up. It also includes six prepared slides for ready viewing in addition to blank slides for anything your kids collect and want to look at. The EDU-41009 also includes a number of tools as well as a micro hatchery for shrimp. Any of these microscopes would benefit from Elenco’s EDU-36729 slide set which contains 36 assorted specimens which include algae, fungi, bug parts and much more.

Whether your child has a casual interest or is on fire to learn more about microscopes or optical science, there’s a little something here for everyone. We’d love to hear your thoughts and about the science adventures you and your kids have, so make sure to leave us product reviews for your favorites and tell us about your favorite on Facebook or Instagram!







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