Smartphone Microscope

As presented at the University of Glasgow 10th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference

Thursday 30th March, 2017

The Smartphone Microscope project was initiated within The School of Education to support teaching within Science. The microphone is a cost-effective alternative too larger, more expensive commercial products and is based on a design that originated in a Scottish secondary school. It has been manufactured from acrylic perspex plastic in the School of Education Technology Innovation Lab (see: using a laser cutter, located within the model / maker space. The technical specifications can be downloaded below as a .pdf document.

The components are purchased externally and / or manufactured internally and then provided to the student in a kit form. It allows them to use a smartphone or tablet device (on larger models) to zoom onto an object of interest (the sample) using the device camera. This is achieved with the use of an integrated lens. Other components include washers, bolts and a spring. The total unit [production] price is around £6 though the costs of designing and manufacturing the prototypes was much higher.

We have already used the devices with PGDE students and the feedback has thus far been positive. We made a small design change to allow easier adjustment to the sample tray (by inverting the adjustment bolt and incorporating a wing nut and a bolt).

Further details on the project will be available circa June 2017, once it completes and a final report is published. More detail can be sought from the PI or the Manufacturing Specialist

Microscope Illustrations – .pdf technical specifications 

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