Campers Create Personalized Foldscopes at LifeMoves | Villa

Making Foldscopes

Adarsh is a high school student who introduces science projects to children throughout the San Jose area. Adarsh brought a world of science to LifeMoves | Villa in San Jose to teach the campers about the magical wonders of the foldscope. When the campers heard they were going to have the chance to build a foldscope, they bounced up and down, unable to contain their excitement.

Adarsh began by explaining the basics of what a microscope consists of and how to use one. The campers were puzzled at first because everything felt so new to them while some of the other campers understood the terminology because of past school assignments.

Counselor Working With Camper

Adarsh then passed out the materials for the project, including-: lens stages, sample stages, panning guides, focus ramps, standard slides, microwell slides, couplers, lens, ID stickers, ring stickers, and cover slip stickers. The campers’ eyes widened after they received their materials; they knew this was going to be a challenging science project. They grabbed their materials and began assembling their foldscope. The counselors started making their way around the tables to assist the campers on their way to building their first foldscope.

Foldscope in Process

As you can imagine, creating a foldscope is a complicated process! Campers were told to start by inserting a coupler into the lens stage on the front side and another coupler into the lens stage on the backside, which will allow the campers to fold and lock down the bottom flap to secure the lens. Campers then inserted the lens into the lens stage with a q-tip carefully. The next step involved folding the focus ramp and then inserting it through the lens stage to keep them together. Campers were then given instructions to fold the edges to be able to insert the flaps into the slots to hide the yellow regions.

Siblings Working Together

After these steps, campers were instructed to flip the sample stage and panning guide to be able to weave the sample stage through the panning guide. The final step was to fold the bottom of the lens stage, creating a fully functional foldscope. One camper screamed, “I did it!” with so much enthusiasm.

Older siblings who were attending the camp began helping their younger siblings whenever they needed help. The middle school campers began helping the younger campers as well, showing them a walk-through of every step. Building a foldscope was a learning experience for everyone and a life lesson about helping those around you whenever they need it.

Teamwork Group Picture

Overall, building a foldscope was a challenging task that our campers resiliently finished. In the end, our campers were proud of their foldscope, and we are proud of them. The campers were the real architects here, and they demonstrated that through their teamwork and motivation.


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