Summer camping with foldscopes and K12 students of the Shvanidzor village in Armenia

Hello foldscope community,

My name is Teni Anbarchian and I’m a 3rd year PhD student in Developmental Biology at Stanford University.

In about a week, I will travel to a remote village in Armenia, named Shvanidzor, to teach in a summer camp with the Hidden Road Initiative organization. I’ll primarily be teaching topics related to health, hygiene and nutrition to ~60-70 K12 students. My plan is to teach these topics using some fun and exciting hands-on experiments. I’m also going to sneak in some genetics/evolution lessons because I cannot help not to.

Some of the foldscope-related experiments I have planned are:

  • growing bacteria from different surfaces on petri dishes and using foldscopes to explore the colonies
  • extracting DNA from strawberries or bananas and checking out the outcome with foldscope
  • I’ve heard lots of insects are swarming the village this time of the year. We will explore their wings or legs and think about how they are different from each other and why. We’ll do the same with tree leaves and flowers.
  • using foldscopes to look at different kinds of food, such as potatoes, vegetables, fruits, a thin slice of meat perhaps and discuss nutritional values of each
  • We will also have a clue/strategy game where many of the clues will involve using a foldscope to get the answer.
  • And Finally we’ll let the students explore on their own and I’m sure they’ll find some exciting news about nature, with foldscope!

I will post videos and images of our time with foldscopes. Depending on internet service availability, we may do so on a daily basis.




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