Macon County Schools, NC (Contact: Jennifer Love)
My first stop in North Carolina was Macon County Schools in Franklin. I got a little bit lost on my way there so I arrived a few minutes late. It all worked out pretty well because one of the attendees had just left a meeting and was running late as well. There were 8 teachers who attended this workshop. I was happily surprised to learn that one of the teachers was from Peru (my homecountry), she had moved to the US quite a few years ago. All the teachers were very enthusiastic about learning how to use a Foldscope and extremely surprised by the quality of the images when they coupled their phones and tables to the Foldscope. Since there was a garden in the back of the school, we were able to get quite a few samples such as leaves and ants. They got very excited when they were able to see ants moving through their Foldscopes. After my visit, they ordered quite a few Foldscope kits. I am looking forward to see the amazing activities they will do with their students.
Individual demo with Jim Mueller, NC
Jim Mueller is a homeschooling science teacher. He had heard about Foldscope but had never used one. I met with him at a coffee shop and showed him how to use a Foldscope, how to prepare slides, and how to couple a Foldscope with his phone. He was surprised by how much sharper the image looked when using the phone’s zoom. After the workshop, he shared his experience to 7 homeschooling groups in North Carolina. We are excited to learn that the number of Foldscopers in the homeschooling community in the US keeps growing.
Group demo at Morrisville Community Park, NC
I met with a group of parents at Morrisville Community Park. This demo was organized by Lisa Strite, who invited quite a few other parents (and some of their kids) to attend. The demo went smoothly and all the attendees learned how to use a Foldscope pretty quickly. Since we were in a park with so much natural light, it was a great location to compare how samples look using our LED lights and natural light. Quite a few of them preferred to use natural light. The sample collection process was really fun because we had so many sample around us. We tried finding pond water because it had rained the night before but we were not successful. One of the attendees mentioned there is a pond nearby, but for the sake of time we decided to just collect nearby samples. The most popular samples were insects and leaves. By the end of the demo, all of the parents thanked me for showing them this amazing scientific tools and were very excited to share their images and samples with friends and family.