Instructables user badgerboy69 has given us permission to share his neat project for making your own USB microscope for carrying out all of your citizen scientist studies. The microscope can be made using easy-to-come-by parts, requires no specialist tools or skills and only costs about $16 - $25 to make.
Badgerboy69 says about the project:
"There are plenty of examples of how to build a USB microscope from an old web-cam out there. This design builds on those examples by using a plastic twist pack (also known as 'Bolt cases' and often used for storing machine tool cutters) to provide a cheap, elegant, robust and easy to use focusing mechanism that also protects the camera from knocks and scrapes.
Because it's robust, it's great for use by kids and in school classrooms, and if you use a decent enough camera the resulting images are easily good enough to give much more expensive, shop bought microscopes a run for their money.
This scope also has the added benefit of being able to be used facing both up and down so it provides excellent image results regardless of whether you want to look down on solid specimens or upwards through transparent, liquid samples."