Researchers made a microscope out of LEGO bricks

University researchers have put together a microscope using only LEGO bricks and mobile phone parts.

The German researchers from the Universities of Göttingen and Münster decided to challenge themselves by building a fully functional, high-resolution microscope using these unlikely materials, apart from the essential optics. The goal was to get younger scientists excited and engaged with creating the tool.

Their experiment worked, as participating children aged between nine and 13 found they had significantly increased understanding of microscopes and how to use them after building and working with the LEGO microscope. They even included writing and opinions from a 10-year-old co-author in their final write-up.

“We hope that this modular microscope will be used in classrooms and homes all over the world to excite and inspire children about science,” Professor Timo Betz, University of Göttingen, told Manufacturing Business Technology. “We have shown that scientific research does not need to be separate from everyday life. It can be enlightening, educational, and fun!”

The scientists shared their process on Github and the complete list of parts and instructions on BrickLink, to encourage as many people as possible to go out and create their own microscope. They also hope that others might even be able to improve or add to their original design. The instructions are available in English, German, Dutch, and Spanish.

Featured Image Credit: Peter Lessman

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