Madurai

There is a big world inside a foldscope

Students useg foldscope at a workshop held in Tirupparakundram near Madurai on Friday.

Students useg foldscope at a workshop held in Tirupparakundram near Madurai on Friday. | Photo Credit: HANDOUT

A workshop on Foldscope, jointly organised by the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), Chennai; Eden Science Club, Madurai; and Tamil Nadu Science Forum was held at the Panchayat Union Primary School in Tirupparakundram.

The two-day workshop was inaugurated on Thursday by Block Educational Officers C.. Kennady, S. Baby and Jeyachitra. As many as 200 students of Classes VI to VIII from 14 schools in Tirupparakundram and Tirumangalam participated in the workshop.

They were fascinated by the world inside the foldscope which were distributed free of cost, said P. Sivaraman, English teacher of Panchayat Union Middle School in Chittampatti in Madurai East Block, and one of the organisers.

Foldscope is an origami paper microscope invented by a scientist of Indian origin Manu Prakash of Prakash Laboratory, Stanford University, along with Jim Cybulski, a Ph.D. scholar.

The tool is lightweight, easy to carry in one’s pocket and can be attached to a mobile phone for better viewing of slides which can even be projected on screens.

“The students prepared slides of leaves, especially eggs of insects on its surface, etc.., to see the minute details, much to their excitement,” Mr. Sivaraman said.

Interestingly, of the 32 teachers who participated in the workshop on the first day, only six were science teachers who later acted as guides to the students on Friday.

“Usually students will not be allowed to use microscopes at school labs beyond class hours in view of safety. So, foldscope acts as a substitute,” said Mr. Sivaraman.

“The aim is to kindle an interest in science among students, and to easily communicate complex topics in a fun-filled manner. I received so many calls from students on what all they discovered through the instrument as soon as they got back home,” he added.

As a follow-up project, he said that the students have been asked to collect and post photos of pollen grains from different flowers on the WhatsApp group regularly.

Eden Science Club Coordinator M. Pandiarajan, IMSc scientific officer Varuni, general secretary of All India People Science Network S. Krishnaswami and others were present.


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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 12:41:32 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/there-is-a-big-world-inside-a-foldscope/article65391031.ece