DIY Jelly Lens for your smartphone

I read this today and thought it was really cool! I’m sure instagram fantatics would love this. 

Caution: This activity uses boiling water, children must be supervised by an adult.

You will need:

      • Gelatine powder (plain, no flavouring)
      • Boiling water
      • Flat plastic lids
      • A glass or container
      • Teaspoon
      • Small bowl
      • Measuring spoons

What to do: 

      1. Measure two teaspoons of boiling water into the small bowl and sprinkle a quarter of a teaspoon of gelatine powder on top.
      2. Stir for four minutes, until the gelatine becomes thicker. You don’t want it to set, just to thicken so it slowly drips off the spoon.
      3. Using the spoon, place a small drop on the plastic lid.
      4. After five seconds, turn the lid over and balance it on the jar so that the drop is upside down. Gravity will pull the drop into a parabola – but it shouldn’t drip off the lid, if that happens, you need your jelly to be thicker.
      5. Try placing other drops on different materials with flat surfaces – like the top of the gelatine container, a jam jar lid, a ruler or glass – whatever you have around.
        Turn each upside down. This way you can pick which works best.
      6. Let the jelly set for 15 minutes.
      7. Check all your tests and pick which one came out roundest.
      8. Gently lift the jelly drop off the lid, pushing upwards with your finger.
      9. Place the drop over the lens of a smartphone. If it’s not your phone, ask permission from the owner first.
      10. Try taking close-up photos through your jelly lens. You need to get really close to what you’re focusing on for it to work, so the lens is almost touching the object.
      11. When you’re done, remove the jelly lens and wipe the phone camera clean. Jelly contains water, so you don’t want to leave it too long on your camera.

To learn more about the science behind jelly lens, read Double Helix @ CSIRO

Gonna get me some gelatine and flat plastic lids over the weekend and play around, woop woop!