Filipino Inventor Receives James Dyson Award for Keychain Microscope Innovation
In a remarkable achievement, a young Filipino inventor has been honored with the prestigious James Dyson Award for his innovative Make-roscope project. Jeremy de Leon, the brains behind this groundbreaking invention, has developed a single-lens keychain microscope that can be attached to any smartphone or tablet, providing magnification from 125 to 400 times on a slide. This revolutionary device has the potential to revolutionize the learning experience for students and educators in the field of microbiology.
De Leon’s Make-roscope outshone nearly 50 other competing entries from across the Philippines to secure this recognition. As part of the award, he will receive a cash prize of Php330,000 (approximately $6,000) to further advance his project. Moreover, he will have the opportunity to compete on the international stage, with the potential to win up to Php2 million ($35,000) in funding.
The key focus of De Leon’s innovation is to enhance access to microbiology for students and educators. Traditionally, a single microscope is shared by approximately 10 students in school laboratories. However, with the Make-roscope, it becomes feasible for each student to have their own microscope. This not only revolutionizes the learning experience but also promotes equitable access to scientific tools.
De Leon, who hails from Mapua University in Manila, initially aimed to support Filipino students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). However, his aspirations have since expanded to promote Philippine innovation on a global scale.
The Make-roscope is listed at Php549 ($8) on the online store Lazada, but is currently out of stock as of this moment.
The Make-roscope works by attaching it to the front camera of a smartphone using its built-in clip. By adjusting the compact microscope’s lens to align with the camera, users can observe microorganisms in liquid samples on a microscope slide.
In addition to De Leon’s achievement, two other remarkable innovations were recognized as runners-up by the national James Dyson Award. A group of students from the University of San Carlos in Cebu City developed the AI-Assisted Fes Device to aid the rehabilitation of patients with paralyzed fingers. Meanwhile, Franchezka Oxales, an alumna of the University of the Philippines Diliman, presented the Sugar Buddy project, designed to assist children with Down syndrome in managing their diabetes.
The James Dyson Award, administered by the education charity James Dyson Foundation, has a history of supporting inventive projects worldwide. It fosters innovation and creativity among young inventors, providing them with the recognition and resources necessary to bring their ideas to life.
Jeremy de Leon expressed his gratitude for the James Dyson Award and highlighted the potential of the Make-roscope to reach students around the world. With this invention, he envisions a future where every student has access to their own microscope, empowering them to explore the microscopic world without limitations.
Filipino innovation continues to make waves, and Jeremy de Leon’s Make-roscope is a testament to the brilliant minds driving progress in the country.