That idea has grown into a company that now delivers powerful scientific tools around the world! Our paper microscopes have reached over 2 million people and created a community of explorers unlike any other.
Foldscope is the paper microscope that combines low-cost materials with precision optics. This innovation results in microscopes that are both high-quality and affordable. Our microscopes have a range of magnifications (50X-340X). You can visualize tiny microorganisms to larger samples like insects, plants, fabrics, and tissues. Foldscope can also attach to mobile phones for imaging and is very portable, durable, and waterproof. With that versatility, the possibilities are endless!
There is a Foldscope kit for everyone. We offer foldable paper microscopes in a variety of configurations — ranging from individual kits packed with microscopy accessories, to classroom kits that provide the largest number of Foldscopes for the lowest price. Visit our store to learn how you can get the most out of your Foldscope experience.
The best part of Foldscope is not the tool itself, but the people who use it. Foldscope has an official app and an online platform called the Microcosmos, where Foldscope users share their explorations. All of Foldscope’s community spaces are free, open, and user-driven. Discover what other curious Foldscopers are up to!
Whatever it is, the Foldscope Team is here to help. Visit our Resources page for a variety of content designed to help you assemble and use your Foldscope paper microscope. Check out our user-guide, lesson plans, tutorials, translated instructions, and more.
The New Yorker interview of Manu Prakash on the Foldscope Beta Version in December, 2015.
Manu Prakash delivers a TED talk on Foldscope, including a live demonstration. credit: TED.
Imagine the wonders of the microscopic world - see them through the lens of a Foldscope.
I believe Foldscope’s mission to place a microscope in the hands of every student in the world is remarkable. Providing high-quality and affordable educational resources for students to discover and engage in scientific inquiry is very important. Throughout our work together, I observed 100% active engagement in inquiry-based learning at all levels… from 8th-grade students in an Introductory Agriscience and Technology course to Agriscience Teachers who have been teaching from as few one to over 25 years. Very impressive and very rewarding to see such an impactful professional development experience occur for our agriscience students and teachers in South Carolina! -Catherine A. DiBenedetto, Ph.D. Clemson University; Associate Professor, Agricultural Education
From the experience we have had last year with our [Foldscope] workshops, it opened up an area of knowledge that we're not even tapping into… This shows the immense potential of curiosity, research and learning that every child has, when you put in their hands a tool so simple, but at the same time so powerful. — Carmen Chavez, Director, Peru Programs, ACEER
I take it with me everywhere I travel. I use it as a first approximation to look at samples in the field. I took this to the Galàpagos last January, and I was able to capture images of a large number of planktonic species… It’s lightweight and compact, and the quality of the image is really fantastic. — Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Howard Hughes Medical Institute