Skip Navigation



Observation is the foundation of the scientific process. Seeing natural phenomena occur can spark interest and inspire new ideas for further study. Looking more closely, or from a greater distance, can give us new perspective on familiar, common objects. Use the resources below to help your students hone their observation skills and become better “scientists.”

Powers of Ten
Eames Office,

This thought-provoking, interactive web page will encourage students to become more observant as they explore exponential size relationships among objects ranging in size from microscopic to cosmic.

Photo Challenge, Guess What?

Challenge students’ observational and interpretational skills by having them identify the objects depicted in this set of photos. If desired, sign up for the regular RSS feed of Photo Challenge images.

Patterns in Nature
National Geographic,

View amazing photos of rocks, shells, landforms and many other natural objects to identify and consider patterns in our world.

Simple Steps to a Magnified Mind
The Private Eye,

Overview of a hands-on, investigative program in which students use everyday objects, a jeweler's loupe, and simple questions to develop critical thinking skills, creativity, scientific literacy and knowledge across subjects.

The Private Eye Galleries
The Private Eye,

A sampling of writings and drawings produced by students (and teachers) using The Private Eye inquiry process. Includes lesson plan ideas.