During the workshop at IIT Mumbai I’d collected a sample of riccia from the walls and I found a variety of protozoans and nematodes in it along with polychaetes and flatworms as well!
Everytime I foldscope a natural sample I’m just amazed by the fact that there really is a whole microcosmos we miss out on! Our Foldscopes not only educate and enlighten us but also make us realize that how little a part of the world we see with our eyes and how huge a part is left undiscovered by us even tho its right in front of our eyes! This riccia was growing everywhere there must’ve been such a plethora of microbes out there 😀 I have however managed to get my hands on a few of them. I have foldscoped many samples before but this was the first time I saw an amoeba. It’s something I’ve been studying about since school days but never did I get an opportunity to see it alive and moving. It was a really great moment!
Here’s the polychaete it was not visible with naked eye
some Oxytricha ciliates in bright field and dark field
and finally a flat worm 🙂
Editting the post to share my experience with the foldscope workshops.
I won’t get into explaining how i learnt how great a tool foldscope is, I think all of us know it by now that whatever we say is always less 😀 and our community is always finding out new great applications of foldscope!I’ll share some personal experiences instead
Day 1 of the workshop was with children from Dharavi Diaries and a BMC urdu medium school. The enthusiasm these children showed really left me with my mind blown. I remember an incident where Manu sir was showing a wet mount of some sort of protozoans to the children and and saying it looks like a jungle to which one of the kid asked “is jungle ka raaja kaun?” (who’s the king of this jungle?) I just giggled at the question but I was amazed when Manu Sir answered it 😀 he explained the kid how he can actually find out who’s the king by linking it to the food chain and how it was really difficult to answer for him.It made me realize how little of science we know and how we need to learn to ask more questions from these kids.
When I saw how these children think in so many ways and how we’re not able to answer their questions, I realized how small a part of this beautiful microcosmos we’ve seen and how we’re always in the process of learning ,not only from our teachers but just anyone. This is when I learnt that this is what real science is, it doesn’t need a student and a teacher to learn science but just curiosity in our minds! and that’s when actually learning happens not only for the person teaching but also the student 🙂
It was a really enriching experience to meet and interact with Pandirajan sir, Uthra maam, Manu sir, Rupali, everyone from dharavi diaries and even the children from kurla ,everyone present at the workshops. All of them have left me with lessons which I’m going to cherish for a very long time. Thank You everyone. I feel humbled to have met such great people 🙂
~Have Fun Foldscoping 🙂
Second Year Undergraduate
Ramnarain Ruia Autonomous College, Mumbai.