2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 3:15 PM


CASUCCIO, Gary S.1, KENNEDY, Stephen K.2, ANDERSON, Kristy1 and GAYDOS, Matt1, (1)RJ Lee Group, Inc, 350 Hochberg Road, Monroeville, PA 15146, (2)RJ Lee Group, Inc, 350 Hochberg Road, Monroeville, PA 15146, Antigua, gcasuccio@rjlg.com

Research laboratories are populated by a wide variety of high tech analytical instrumentation, thus science education classrooms should be similarly equipped. The costs involved in initial purchase, continued maintenance and supplies and training put much of this instrumentation beyond the reach of most school districts as well as general education in colleges and universities. Advances in computer hardware and software and widespread distribution of high speed internet connectivity, are allowing analytical instruments to be accessible over the internet. The focus of this presentation will be to illustrate how advances in digital technology and the internet will permit the widespread use of microscopy in education.

Microscopy is an ideal educational tool because it is inherently interactive and activities can be incorporated into pedagogically sound educational modules. Today, several forms of microscope simulators are available. These simulators consist of both internet and CD-based versions and allow the user to perform the functions of a real microscope on very large images acquired on real microscopes. Functions include pan, zoom, rotate, focus, brightness, contrast, measure and image capture. A subset of functions can be made available for use at lower education levels, and functions can be added for successively higher grade levels. Simulators are being designed to simulate the functions of an optical (reflected or transmitted light) microscope, and a scanning electron microscope (SEM). This same technology can be used to examine and manipulate large digital images such as maps, air photos, and images of planetary surfaces.

In addition to microscope simulators, current technology also enable operation of an SEM at remote locations via the internet. Functions include the ability to obtain images, as well as using micro-chemical techniques.

Technology is rapidly changing the way we can educate students. Development of curricula to take advantage of this evolving technology will open the door to new ways to teach science from the elementary grade levels through college.