I have been having fun with my Foldscope Mini and wanted to share my thoughts on this new tool with the world. I hope that it will inspire you to go out and get yourself, a loved one, friend, teacher, classroom or even a school district(!!!) a Foldscope Mini. The ability to discover the microscopic world around you has become more accessible than ever. Read on to learn what makes the Foldscope Mini the perfect microscope for explorers of all ages!
What is the Foldscope Mini?
The Foldscope Mini lets curious people of all ages explore the microscopic world right out of the box! Assembly takes seconds and it can be used anywhere there is a light source (natural outdoor light, a lamp, or even overhead lights). Samples can be mounted on glass slides, paper slides, Trading Cards, or placed directly in the Foldscope Mini. Because the Foldscope Mini has no loose parts, it is the perfect scientific tool for small hands. Classroom sets ensure that every student has their very own microscope. They are so easy to use that class time can be spent with student-led exploration not teacher-led explanation. Classroom sets are also great for birthday party favors - imagine all of the discoveries that could be made at the party and beyond because each guest will leave with their very own microscope!
There is no phone coupler for the Foldscope Mini, which makes it perfect for when you want to be in the moment and enjoy looking at what you find. Kids of all ages enjoy seeing something “cool” in their Foldscope Mini and sharing what they see. This is especially common with classroom sets - everyone wants to see and share their findings!
However, you can still capture beautiful images if you choose to. I put a flower petal between two clear stickers on a Trading Card, placed the card in the pocket, held it up to a light, and put my phone up to the lens to capture the images below.
What Are Trading Cards?
It isn’t just the Foldscope that has a new look, but the slides are new too! Trading Cards are paper slides that are the size of a playing card. The size of a Trading Card is easier for younger hands, or those with fine motor skills difficulties, to manipulate than a smaller glass slide.
The sample goes in the hole in the center of the card. You can use clear stickers for dry samples and ring stickers for wet or dry samples. The cards are durable and reusable - just peel off the stickers, remove the sample, and mount a new one with new stickers!
Another fun feature of the Trading Cards is that you can decorate them and trade them with your friends! The designs are limited only by your imagination!
What Is The Mini Explorer Kit?
The Foldscope Mini is a great tool on its own, but it is even better as part of the Mini Explorer Kit! It comes with two blank Trading Cards, clear stickers, and ring stickers for preparing slides with wet or dry samples. It also includes a mini Eppendorf tube, pipette, and tweezers. To make sample collection a breeze! The metal box is the perfect size to put in your pocket for Foldscoping on the go and the included cotton swab is the only thing you need to clean the lens. There is even a Foldscope Explorer patch and a microbe sticker so you can show off your scientific curiosity to the world!
So what are you waiting for? The microcosmos is yours to explore and the Foldscope Mini is just the tool you need to magnify your curiosity!!
Share your Trading Card designs, microscopic images, experiences, and thoughts about the Foldscope Mini on the Microcosmos. Be sure to tag us on social media when you post the results of your explorations, creations, and discoveries! We love to see how Foldscopers around the world are using their Foldscopes and Trading Cards in new and innovative ways!