I briefly mentioned Foldscope way back in 2017 after our Stanford tour guide pulled the amazing paper microscope out of her pocket to demonstrate the type of innovation you can find at Stanford. I always meant to do a separate post on this tool, but life got in the way and suddenly I am here, three years later, finally getting around to it.
Foldscope is an inexpensive, portable, durable microscope that you can carry around with you pretty much anywhere. It was invented at Stanford, and you can watch Manu Prakash speak about the evolution of this idea in the video below. (Linked here in case the embedded video doesn’t work.) Of particular note during our current coronavirus fears is the portion at 5:23 where a student declares how the Foldscope highlights how important it is to wash your hands to avoid dangerous diseases.
You can also view a TED talk with Prakash from 2014 here.
For $35, you can purchase 20 Foldscopes for your class to make, which is a steal, in my opinion. Imagine sending every student in your class home with one of these tools! Since I know how purchasing can be in some districts, I wanted to point out this link to their distributors in the hopes that you will find one who is on your approved vendor list.
And don’t forget to visit the Foldscope Community to see some of the awesome microscopic images that have been shared from around the world!