I am graduate student from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. I was interested to see foldscope for quite sometime and invitation form Dr. Manu Prakash to attend foldscope event came as a surprise to me. Event organisation was amazing and involved school and college students. Everyone in the hall was excited to have hands on amazing invention that enables one to carry microscope in their pocket. All participants were trained in foldscope assembly and were given time to explore different creatures present in and around event venue.
First i tried to capture stomata of leaf and i was thrilled to see magnification power of foldscope and successfully able to capture it with mobile attachment.
Then, I used the pond water collected by Dr. Manu Prakash himself from pond near by event venue. Liquid sample slide was prepared and i tried to see whats in pond water sample. Lot of algae was present. But suddenly i was able to focus on nematode and i captured multiple images of it which enabled me to show movement of nematode. With the help of mobile camera, sharp images were captured.
As we know no invention is worthy if it doesn’t reach the masses. And vision of inventor is to reach out school children who are more than enthusiastic to learn and explore new avenues. And to me best way to reach school students is to reach out teachers. Recently, a group of 20 school teachers from nearby villages of IIT Kanpur visited our department. To give them some story to tell their students on their return, I demonstrated the foldscope to them. All were really excited and amazed to see paper microscope. They never heard about this before and never ever imagined possibility of cheap microscope. I showed them how to assemble the foldscope and how to operate it. To give actual demonstration, I have prepared Drosophila eye slide. I showed them ommatidia and compared it with the compound microscope. They appreciated the capabilities of folding scope and showed their willingness to have foldscope for their students.
It is great learning experience since i have got my foldscope. It make exploring things unexpectedly easy at places where one can not expect microscope. I am looking forward to fluorescent foldscope which will open new avenues for me to explore.