This microscope is designed to be used as a teaching tool for students learning about the fundamentals of a microscope. We estimated that this cost about $0.40 /microscope.
We pre-cut the microscope parts for the students and they assembled it using the video provided in the attached link. Once they confirmed function, they were asked to label the parts (note the extensive decorations). Finally, they were asked to extend upon it by suggesting improvements and using the iPad attachment to observe objects through the iPad screen.
Here's the blog entry describing the project at Castilleja http://bournidealab.posterous.com/lets-build-a-microscope
This is designed to be cut from 1/4" plywood. This specific project was done using Home Depot 5mm Purebond. The mirrors should be cut out of mirrored acrylic.
The lens for this microscope need to come from a disposable camera.
Here is a video explaining how to assemble it.
If you are a teacher interested in projects like this, please contact me and follow zombie-cat.org