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Make-roscope: Your First Keychain Microscope

Ultra simple tool that turns your smartphone or tablet into a microscope!

  • Make-roscope Your First Keychain Microscope

  • About the Make-roscope

    About the Make-roscope

  • One page, for your questions

  • Checking out different prepared specimen using the Make-roscope and an iPad

  • Curious about wet samples? View it directly just with 3 steps!

  • Design Iterations

What it does

12 million+ students do not have access to laboratories but most of them have smartphones. This affordable and portable keychain turns your smartphone or tablet into a microscope. Simply place it on top of your front camera, and access the microscopic world!

Your inspiration

When the pandemic happened, it was really tough for students and teachers to learn and teach biology and life sciences because the school labs were closed. It made everyone worried because students started losing interest in science. But what if there was a special tool that could help teachers and students study science together, even if they couldn't be in the same classroom? They could use things like virtual classes or Zoom to learn together. That would be a big help in fighting against this decline and making science fun and interesting again!

How it works

The Make-roscope does something really cool! It uses just one special lens to make things look much bigger, up to 125 times bigger! The outside of the Make-roscope is made from a special material called food-grade silicone that is really good quality. That means it can get wet and you can use it again and again. Instead of using gears like a machine, it has flexible arms that you can bend to make things look clearer.

Design process

We listened carefully to the people who tried the Make-roscope first. They gave us really helpful suggestions on how to make it better. At first, we made a 3D printed version of it and gave it to some teachers and students to try out in schools. They told us what they liked and what could be improved. We used their feedback to make changes to the design and make it even better. Each time we made a change, we asked more and more people to try it and give us their opinions. We kept making improvements in different areas like the size, the material it's made of, how well it works, and how much it costs. It took us several months to make all these changes and make sure the Make-roscope is the best it can be.

How it is different

You can view wet and dry specimens directly! The Make-roscope is designed to be friendly and simple, so it's easy to use. It's not like a fancy microscope with lots of complicated parts. It's more like a keychain, so kids can try it out without worrying about breaking it. It's really small, so you can take it with you anywhere without a lot of setup. You don't need any extra stickers or things to stick it to your phone because it sticks by itself. And you don't have to strain your neck by looking up into a lens. Instead, you can just put the Make-roscope on your phone's screen and use the front camera to look at things.

Future plans

We'd like to develop a design that works best for kids ages 7 and up! Introducing them to the world of microbiology at a young age would help ignite their curiosity. The drive to explore their surroundings would greatly help expand learning outside the four walls of classrooms.


Alfredo M Yao Intellectual Property Award 2022 - Champion BCYF Innovation Awards 2023- Finalist

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