GOSH DIY Microscopes at 7th Grade Indiana Science Class

Took the cheapo DIY microscope idea from @alex9000 's Wildlives classes (Where we just put a cheap plastic collimating lens in front of a camera) and used it in Mx. Crapnell’s 7th grade science class in Noblesville, Indiana.

We went even simpler with the design, no bobby pins, just tape and lenses.

We have the students bend the tape,in half, sticky side out, cut a small triangle.

Put the lens through this hole that’s a bit too small so it faces out, and then we have the students tape that over their ipad lenses.

Works on front lens

or Back lens of their school issue ipads

The results were super great! The ipad camera seemed to do well with lenses 10mm-14mm in diameter (larger diameter became a bit more like a macro lens, than a super high focus microscope)

one kid photoed a mosquito!


So cool thanks @hikinghack for sharing!

Just curious: Do you know anything about whether this microscope activity was part of a wider lesson, and if so, what the design of that lesson is?

They were doing a physics unit, so i taught some optics

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But could you see the organelles? Could you pull a fast one before the cytoplasm gelled?

For those who don’t know, Mx. Crapnell is not your everyday teacher: https://youtu.be/-zafJKbMPA8?si=SgU1Y_SsfOxQ5RAt


i have permanently tagged one to my phone, with old bluetack, and it stayed there already for months. just lift off and retack to the lens in case i need some “maaaaags!”

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Update! It happened to be earth day and i was visiting UW campus, so i figured I would use some leftover lenses and do another impromptu workshop out on the quad.
We got about 15 people to build their own microscopes and explore the microcosmic lovely nature around them!

This time I went with @dusjagr 's excellent sticky tack technique and it worked great!