By now, everybody knows about the pandemic that has sweeped the world – Convid-19, a viral infection that is spreading like wild fire. While these are trying times and we all must do our part to #flattenthecurve – stay at home and isolate yourself as much as possible – you don’t have to stop exploring. Even more so, this is a reminder for why we all need to engage in the process of science and learn the principles so as a society we are better prepared for the future.
So while millions and millions of kids are staying at home – you don’t have to just play video games; get your foldscope out and explore your own backyard. Here are a few precautious while you explore the microscopic world:
1) Don’t share your foldscope for the time being. It’s best for right now, to use your own foldscope. They are cheap, so have your own – best to avoid passing your germs in these times.
2) You can easily wipe and clean your foldscope by using any standard disinfectant. Since the foldscope surface has a plastic coating on – use a disinfectant to wipe all the surfaces (say a cloth with bleach or just some mild alcohol) and let it dry.
3) since you have thousands of hours of activities ahead of you – spend some time on the microcosmos website to explore what others have been doing. A ton of content exists for you to explore and see for yourself what kind of projects you would like to do: here is a compiled list of 20-30 projects you can immediately get started with. https://microcosmos.foldscope.com/?p=19388
4) No, you can’t image viruses on traditional light microscopes. they are another order of magnitude smaller (bacteria are roughly 1 micron while a virus might be 100nm). But a million things can be seen – literally anything you find interesting has a microscopic story to tell.
5) As is becoming clear, hand washing prevents spread of diseases. Understanding why hand washing works – is a great foldscope exercise and I hope we continue these practices past this “viral” moment! Hand washing saves lives, with or without corona virus scare. Some tremendous work has been done on improving hand washing practices around the world; using foldscope as a tool for training hygiene practices. Project SHINE is a shining example of the same https://microcosmos.foldscope.com/?p=126778 or https://microcosmos.foldscope.com/?p=8210
6) finally, I hope while you feel the burn of being locked at home – I hope you will channel your inner creativity and explore the microscopic world. Moments like this remind us why sharing your science and exploring this world to understand it is at the heart of the scientific revolution. Join forces – and make use of this time to bring your Foldscoping skills up! We are all here to help – and mentors teachers who are feeling that the students might miss out on their educational goals.
Feel free to reach out to us; we are here to help and engage your classrooms globally. Happy Foldscoping – and stay safe and healthy.