2018: Year in Review

As we reflect on many workshops and events in 2018, the Foldscope team is both excited and grateful to share some of this year’s major highlights. Over 120,000 Foldscope units were sold via our online store and shipped to 98 countries. Thanks to passionate mentors, our dedicated partners, and the curious community of explorers, our work to grow a global community of microscopy enthusiasts has continued to magnify curiosity worldwide. 

Please enjoy some of our favorite moments captured in 2018:

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In January, the beta version of Foldscope was featured in the show “Designed In California” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).  The show, featuring inventions from the TESLA charger to the famed Eames chair, offered a wide spectrum of design elements from California designers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Featured in a section called Design For Social Change, the Foldscope was the first item you saw as you entered the Show.  The show ran from Jan - May, 2018.  The Foldscope (latest version) was also offered for sale in the SFMOMA store.

April 16-17 marked the dates for a one of a kind orientation workshop in Delhi, organized by India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT), and hosted at the International Centre For Genetic Engineering And Biotechnology (ICGEB). Over 440 educators from across India gathered to become students once again, learning how to assemble and use their Foldscopes.

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It was a time filled with exciting and insightful questions about potential applications for the freshly folded tools. A teacher from Madurai plans a workshop for the prevention of dengue fever through mosquito identification. While others contemplate monitoring water quality… plant biology, demonstrating the importance of hygiene, the list goes on. At the end of each day Jim, Dr. Dinakar Salunke, and Prof. K. VijayRaghavan, listened & responded to questions and feedback from all the educators and students in attendance. As exceptional as our workshop was, these sessions felt like a particularly meaningful & motivating note to end things on. Excited reflection on what’s been achieved, and honest discussion on the work that still needs to be done. 

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In summer, the Foldscope team visited South America, visiting Peru, Argentina, and Brazil. This trip had been a long time coming, with partners around the world! Incredible thanks to Moore Foundation Amazonia team for the connections and support that made it largely possible. In the end, the experience encompassed roughly a month of travel with countless outreach efforts, workshops, connections, and what felt like unlimited potential to be explored. We are beside ourselves with excitement to see how this budding community grows in 2019. The trip was chronicled by our team members Rebecca and Alice.

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As we welcome the new year, we grow more resolute in our belief that providing equitable participation in science is not only essential, but achievable. As we continue toward our vision to make microscopes accessible for everyone, we thank you for your ongoing support and partnership and look forward to continuing this journey with you in 2019.