Year 8 Bunbury Cathedral Grammar student, Harry Williams, independently invented a USB-powered microscope camera which projects what is seen on a microscope to a laptop screen.
Fueled with curiosity and the eagerness to solve a class problem, Harry used his creativity to develop the microscope camera.
“I noticed that when the teacher tried to show students what was under the microscope, sometimes people would accidentally bump it and get it out of focus, and it took a long time for everyone to see it. I thought a microscope camera would solve this problem and allow all the students to see it at once,” explained Harry.
With an interest in learning about computer components, Harry’s success with his invention was a product of ingenuity and chance.
“When I was pulling apart a laptop computer, I noticed that the wires from the camera looked as if it would work with a USB port, so I tested it out and my initial theory was correct. It did take a bit of trial and error.”
In addition to creating the camera, he also printed a suitable casing using a 3D Printer. “I have a 3D printer at home, so I used it to print the case to help protect the camera. I thought it was the best way as it is easy to design and print,” said Harry.
His experience with computer hardware and wiring is purely self-learnt, based on trial and error and started from when he was about seven years old. Harry has also invented other things such as a transparent monitor for a computer.
“I was just interested in pulling computers apart to see what was inside, and how it worked. I decided to pull apart the screen of one and noticed when I turned it on the panels still worked and you could see what was behind it. I decided to replicate that with a monitor. I took apart a monitor and separated the screen layers, so I just had the LCD panel. I used the 3D printer to create some corners and my dad helped me cut some wood for a frame., I then connected it all up.”
Harry has donated his microscope camera to the School with the aim that it will help other Science classes too.