KnowZone Rules!

What you will need for this experiment:
Microscope (if accessible)
Magnifying glass or jeweler's loupe
Paper and a pencil or pen
Things to look at closely such as:

  • Your hand
  • A flower
  • A leaf
  • A bug in a bottle
  • Cloth
  • Seeds
  • Food: bread, fruits, vegetable
  • Shells
  • Anything!!
What to do:
1. Choose an object (a good place to start is your hand) and look at it through the magnifying glass or loupe. Check out your nails, fingerprint, hair, back, palm, knuckles, and dirt..

2. Ask yourself these questions: What else does this remind me of? and What else does it look like?

3. This is thinking by analogy—the way scientists, artists, and poets think.

4. Write down 5-10 of your analogies. You can use these in a poem, a story, or for figuring out why something look the way its does.

5. Draw. Look, then draw. Look, then draw. You’ll be amazed what you can do (even if you don’t think you can draw.

6. Theorize: Why is this thing like that? If it reminds me of that, I wonder if it might function like that—in some way it may help the plant or animal survive.

7. Have fun! Show you friends and family. Get them to write down their analogies.

You can turn this experiment into a scavenger hunt with friends looking for various bugs, particles, and anything else you find interesting.

Looking at stuff close up We take the Enviroscope (a large viewer microscope) to fairs and events like State Scientists Day. It magnifies very small objects so you can see them better. At home you can look at stuff up cose too! For more ideas click on

Last Updated on August 6, 2002
Questions?? Contact
A department of the California Environmental Protection Agency