Box Resources


Holiday Hodge Podge

Smartphone Microscopes



Smartphone Microscopes

Microscopes can be one of a scientist's most useful tools and the most inspiring instrument for aspiring steminists. This month girls are getting a look at a world that can be strange and exciting so close up! With all the pieces needed to assemble their own smart phone microscope, girls can use their phones to take photos of their findings and share them with family and friends! Use the #StemBox for any cool pics you snap!

Experiment Instructional Videos

Research Microscopy on the Web!

  • Micrographia

    Robert Hooke was the first person to discover and name "cells" back in 1665. He coined the term when he published Micrographia, his book abou this microscope and the discoveries he made with it. You can find a copy of that book at the link below as well as illustrations made by Hooke himself!
    Read Micrographia here!

    Bioscapes Photo Competition

    The 2013 Bioscapes Competition brings together scientists in a range of fields to indulge in the artistic and fascinating worlds created by microscope. This slideshow compiled by Scientific American invites you to look at some of the best images in the competition!
    Get your mind blown!

    Vinyl Under the Scope!

    Nowadays, we listen to the majority of our music on the cloud, streaming, or with .mp4 files. But back in the day we listened to music on CD's, tapes, and vinyl records! If you've ever listened to vinyl, you'll appreciate the rich and unique tones it creates, but have you ever wondered how it works!? Find out at IFL Science!
    Spoiler alert, it's very cool.

  • Microscope Experiments

    You've built your microscope and looked at your fingers and hair, but now what? Well, the Microscope Detective has a comprehensive list of additional experiments you can run to get the most of your new science tool! Send us photos, we can't wait to see what you find!
    Ideas for days!

    Instagram Worthy Microscopy

    Looking to see some more science in your instagram feed? AWESOME! After you add us, @myStemBox and tag us with your photos using the hashtag #StemBox check out the Zeiss Instagram account for all sorts of up close shots and see if you can guess any of them without reading the captions!
    Get science in your feed!

    Purchasing A Microscope

    If you've had your fill of your smartphone microscope, but are wanting to get even more detail out of your specimen, it may be time to consider purchasing a next level microscope! But not sure where to begin? No sweat! This guide will help you decide what microscope is best for you.
    Start your microscope research here!

Get this box

The last day to sign up for the Bridge Box was January 15th.

Sign up in time for next month's box!


Steminists in action!

Share your photos with us by using the hashtag #StemBox
with your photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Nothing makes us happier than to see girls having a blast with #science! #stembox #steminism

A photo posted by StemBox (@mystembox) on

Troubleshooting the
Smartphone Microscope Box

We recommend placing the first piece in the lens holder as snug as possible and stacking the second lens on top of it in the proper orientation (curvy side up). Stabilizing your lenses and keeping them straight while you compress them under the camera stage is key!

Try re-inserting your lens in the opposite direction. It's important that the convex side of your lens is facing the camera on your phone. To test this it may be useful to hold the lens in between the prongs of a bobby pin and hold it up to your camera before inserting it in the lens holder.

Here are some ideas for things to look at that we've had success with! Ants, leaves, onion skin, pond water is full of surprises, hair, printed materials, dirt, salt versus sugar, varying types of fabric, dollar bills, coins, sand. The list is endless!

If your StemBox is missing pieces or you're having other issues, email us!
[email protected]
We are happy to help and will do our best to send you a replacement piece asap!