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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
Lenses, magnification
a magnifying discovery


Have you ever looked through a magnifying lens? Why does an object look different when you look at it through the magnifying lens? Even though the object appears to get larger or smaller, it really stays the same size. Each lens has its own unique power of magnification; how powerful is your lens?


Sara Agee, PhD, Science Buddies Alumni
Sabine De Brabandere, PhD, Science Buddies
Scotch® is a registered trademark of 3M.
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,200 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.


  • Large magnifying glass with a sturdy handle
  • Scotch® tape
  • Wax paper or other non-stick surface
  • Permanent marker
  • Ruler, 30-cm-long
  • Scissors
  • Optional: Pipe cleaners (2); plastic or paper drinking straws work, too.
  • Chunk of clay
  • Low table or floor on which you can place a piece of clay
  • Small objects to measure (penny, typed or printed alphabet letter—especially a "p" or other asymmetric letter, bean, an eraser, etc.)
  • Pencil
  • Lab notebook


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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
Lenses, magnification
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