The DIY-production of lenses that turn your phone into a microscope is the idea behind the Lens Maker Kickstarter campaign.
The campaign, run by a local Australian group, aims to reinvent the way children learn about science. A cheap, simple process to make and mount lenses which then allows any smartphone or tablet to function as a microscope, is certainly a step in the right direction. And it sounds like fun, too.
The idea is based around droplet lenses made from liquid polymer. Done right, you get a disposable lens that can allow you to see down to ten microns. The Kickstarter campaign gives lenses as rewards, but the core of it is the mounting system and the wherewithal to make your own lenses. Pledges start from $5 and go up to $600 for a lens making workshop.
This is a remarkably cool idea. It’s not only cheap microscopes that make this great for education, but the process of making your own lenses could make potentially great lessons extraordinary.
At the time of writing the Kickstarter campaign has reached $6500 of a $15000 goal with ten days to go. This one is really worth backing if you are a teacher or have kids with inquiring minds. All the details are here.