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The Paper Microscope

Foldscope is the paper microscope that began as an idea to make science more accessible. That idea has grown into a company that now delivers low-cost tools around the world! Foldscope has reached over 1.6 million people with our foldable paper microscopes, and we have created an online community of explorers unlike any other.

Foldscope Classroom Kit

The Basic Classroom Kit is designed to supply a group of 20 explorers with a Foldscope for each person.

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Foldscope Kit

The Assembled Individual Kit (AIK) provides one assembled Foldscope and a multitude of our most popular accessories.

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What can Foldscope do?

Foldscope combines low-cost materials with precision optics to create inexpensive microscopes that are affordable for communities worldwide. With a magnification of 140X, Foldscope can visualize tiny things like bacteria and microorganisms as well as larger samples like insects, plants, fabrics, and tissues. Foldscope can also attach to mobile phones for imaging. This portable microscope is also waterproof. With that versatility, the possibilities are endless!

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Shop Foldscope Products

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.

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Global Community

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!

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Resources for Foldscope Users

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.

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Learn More About Us

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