Foldscopes with science teachers and students from Tribal Ashram Shalas of Maharashtra

A team from the TIFR Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences (TCIS), Hyderabad, conducted Foldscope sessions for science teachers of the Tribal Ashram Shalas (residential schools) from the Amravati District of Maharashtra. The training sessions were attended by 64 teachers of middle to high school, which were carried out in four batches. The sessions were part of a 6-day training course in an ongoing intervention project of the NGO Eklavya which is based in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Several members from the Eklavya team attended the Foldscope sessions and also later helped conduct follow-up sessions in the schools.

Foldscope sessions for teachers

Foldscope session for science teachers at Amravati

The sessions were designed to introduce the microscopic world, kinds of existing microscopes to observe and study microscopic entities; followed by introducing the concept of a paper microscope and Foldscope. Teachers were guided to assemble their Foldscopes, prepare slides of monocot and dicot leaf epidermis and onion peel, and observed them with the Foldscope. They also observed permanent slides of Spirogyra, Mycelium of fungus, etcSlides of monocot and dicot leaves were prepared using nail polish to create an impression of the epidermis. Nail polish was applied to the bottom side of the leaf, dried, peeled using a cellophane tape and stuck to a slide for investigation under the Foldscope.(https://twitter.com/steven_a_yates/status/1073906561943306240, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ghxd0p93hag&feature=youtu.be)

Date Time Participants Session


30/11/2018
11 am-12.30 pm

3.30 pm -5 pm
Middle School teachers (32)
High school teachers (32)
Foldscope assembly

Foldscope assembly






1/12/2018
11 am -12.30 pm














12.45 am– 2.15 pm
High school teachers (32)













Middle School teachers (32)
Preparation of slides and observation – Epidermis of the leaves of shoe flower and Canna Plant (Monocot and dicot leaves, lower epidermis)

Observation of permanent slides (Spirogyra, Diatoms, Mycelium, etc.)



Preparation of slides and observation – Epidermis of the leaves of shoe flower and Canna Plant (Monocot and dicot leaves, lower epidermis)

Observation of permanent slides (Spirogyra, Diatoms, Mycelium, etc.)

Foldscope sessions for children

The TIFR Hyderabad team visited the following Ashram Shalas in Amravati to introduce Foldscopes to children. Some students assembled foldscopes while all got a chance prepare slides and make observations. The following schools were visited :

  1. Ashram Shala Dhanora, Taluka Morshi
  2. Ashram Shala, Manikpur, Taluka Warud
  3. Ashram Shala, Jarida, Taluka Chikhaldara
  4. Ashram Shala Doma, Taluka Chikhaldara
  5. Ashram Shala Tembrusonda, Taluka Chikhaldara

At the end of the sessions the Foldscopes were given to the students rather than keeping them locked in the school labs, hoping that students would use them autonomously in their free time.

Foldscope session with Grade VIII children, Ashram Shala, Tembrusonda
Foldscope session with middle school children, Ashram Shala, Dhanora
Observation of samples through Foldscope, Ashram Shala, Manikpur

School Grade Session No. of Foldscopes given
Ashram Shala, Dhanora Grade V – VII Foldscope assembly
Preparation of slides (Onion peel and epidermis of Bryophyllum, different leaves collected by children)
Observation of stomata
4
Ashram Shala, Manikpur Grade VIII – X Observation of Permanent Slides (butterfly leg, Kelp, Spirogyra, etc.)
Ashram Shala, Jaridha Grade VIII Preparation of slides (Onion peel and leaf of an ornamental plant)
Observation of stomata
4
Ashram Shala, Doma Grade VIII – X Preparation of slides (Onion peel and leaf of an ornamental plant)
Observation of stomata
7
Ashram Shala, Tembrusonda, Grade VIII Preparation of slides (Onion peel and leaf of an ornamental plant)
Observation of stomata
8



A total of 50 Foldscopes were given to students from five schools and Eklavya team members doing the follow-up.

Cheers!

Anu Joy

Eklavya team : Akanksha, Bhagyashree, Dawangara, Komal, Manjusha, Pooja, Prathibha, Rajender and Tushar

TIFR-H Team : Anu, Ashalatha, Nitin, Debashree, Chandrika and Jayashree



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