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Foldscope In the Classroom Quick Tip: Mystery Photos


What happens when you let your students create their own microscopic mystery photos?

Mystery Picture
Figure 1. Mystery Picture
(Photo Credit: Holly A. Stuart)

Mystery photos are a fun way to get students engaged in the classroom. And it is easy to see why - it is fun, creative guessing is encouraged, and there is lots of laughter and surprise when the answer is revealed!

 Mystery Picture
Figure 2. Mystery Picture
(Photo Credit: Holly A. Stuart)


Why not change things up and have your students make their own mystery pictures? With a Foldscope 2.0, students can take the microscope home, create slides that relate to the theme, and take pictures to be used in class. When your students explain the connection between their picture and the theme, you can assess the depth of their understanding of the content.

Read on for a fun way to let your students create their own mystery photos with a Foldscope 2.0!

Picture of Explorer Kit
Figure 3. Picture of Explorer Kit
(Photo Credit: Holly A. Stuart)


This activity is a great way to encourage creativity and look for connections. Letting students take their Foldscopes home gives them time to be thoughtful and intentional about the samples they choose and the pictures that they take.

Mystery Photo
Figure 4. Mystery Picture
(Photo Credit: Holly A. Stuart)
  1. Choose a theme for the mystery photos.
  2. Give each student a Foldscope, blank slides, and slide making materials:
    • Clear stickers
    • Black ring stickers
    • Scissors
    • Tweezers
  3. Give students time to choose their samples, prepare their slides, and take pictures of what they see.
  4. Students will submit their pictures along with a written description of their sample and how it connects to the theme.
  5. Share the images with the class letting students guess what the microscopic images are and how they connect to the theme.
Mystery Photo
Figure 5. Mystery Picture
(Photo Credit: Holly A. Stuart)


After everyone has had a chance to guess, reveal what the samples actually are. Let the students describe how they connect to the theme. Be sure to really encourage those out of the box connections!


Share your student created mystery photos with the Foldscope community on the Microcosmos. We love to see how educators are using Foldscopes to inspire creativity in their classrooms!

Want to know what the mystery photos are in this blog? Head over to this Microcosmos post to find out!