The researchers did this after realizing that the lenses in modern smartphone cameras, which cost about 4 euros each, are so good that they make it possible to distinguish even individual cells.
The scientists prepared instructions for building the microscope and also did a step-by-step tutorial to guide people through the construction process and provide information about optical properties relevant to the microscope.
Then they tested their invention on a group of 9- to 13-year-olds and checked their understanding through a questionnaire. It turned out – unsurprisingly – that the children who were given the parts and plans to build the microscope themselves saw that their knowledge of the microscope increased exponentially.
For this part of the study, the scientists, who are typically involved in researching basic biophysical processes, were able to benefit from the input and enthusiasm of 10-year-old co-author, Emil Betz-Blesa, son of project leader Timo. Betz from the University of Göttingen.
Video in which the microscope is set up and the result is shown, a picture of individual cells. (Video: Timo Betz)
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