1993 by The Center for Applied Research in Education


  1. Read the text.
  2. Complete the investigation.
  3. Use the text and your observations to help you answer the questions.

Robert Hooke, a scientist who lived in England during the 1600s, experimented with clocks, telescopes, diving bells, and microscopes. He became famous for the obser- vations he made through a microscope he helped to develop. Unlike most of the single- lens microscopes of his time, Hooke's microscope had two lenses mounted on the ends of a tube. This compound microscope was the forerunner of the one you are using.

One of Hooke's observations led him to the discovery of the cell; he described this investigation in his book, Micrographia. The steps below were taken from this book. Read these steps and use them to help you complete the investigation.


Step one:     "I sharpened my knife as keen as a razor." (You will use a razor blade.)

Step two:     'I, with a sharpened pen knife, cut off a thin piece of cork."

Step three:   "I placed the thin piece of cork on a black object plate." (You will use a microscope slide.)

Step four:    "Through the microscope, I could see that the cork was perforated and porous, much like a honeycomb." (You will record your observations by sketching them in the circle provided.)

Special Precaution:

You will be using a single-edged razor blade to cut cork. Be very careful; always cut away from you hand and your body, and report any accidents to your teacher IMMEDIATELY.

1. Use the safety razor blade to slice a small piece of cork thinner than a piece of paper



2. Place two drops of water on the microscope slide.

3. Use the dissecting needle to place the slice of cork on the water drops.

4. Lay a cover slip over your specimen and place it on your microscope. Focus to medium power.

5. Sketch your specimen in the circle provided.






These pages authored and maintained by Marcella Dawson. Revised 3/2002 . Copyright 1995 CRPC GirlTECH. All rights reserved. . Email your comments. These pages were developed through GirlTECH '96, a teacher training and student technology council program sponsored by the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center.