Would you like a digital microscope? Perhaps you’d like to turn your smartphone into one.
If you have a cell phone, you can make a DIY smartphone microscope with up to 175x magnification using $10 worth of parts via this Instructables article. It also claims that you’ll only need 20 minutes to make this setup, but I’m a little skeptical on both counts.
Regardless, this is a really simple setup, using only wood, plexiglass, nuts/bolts, and a lens from a laser pointer. If it takes you a little longer than 20 minutes, the results appear to be worth it. Besides the article linked above, you can see a video of how one of these microscopes is made after the “read more” link.
The video claims that this is a “viable option for under-funded science classrooms,” which may be true. Perhaps it could be a good project for normally-funded shop classrooms as well!
This project doesn’t look too hard, but if you don’t want to DIY, Amazon would be happy to bail you out with a selection of smartphone microscopes. They appear to vary widely in price as well as quality, but I can’t vouch for any of them.
Thanks to @TheRealDMC for pointing out this great idea!