Who wants to wait in a long line to peer into a microscope? Nobody! Which is why the Frontiers in Reproduction (FIR) course students were excited last week to play with the new “Digital Classroom” projection system in their lab.
The system sends microscope images wirelessly to an iPad, which projects them on a screen for all to view. “It’s a great teaching tool,” said MBL Education Director Rae Nishi.
Twenty-four Zeiss microscopes with cameras are connected to the Digital Classroom. The iPad displays all their images as thumbnails and faculty or students can select which image to project.
“This will be phenomenal to use not only with the MBL’s advanced research courses, but also with proposed programs for high schoolers,” said Jim McIlvain, Zeiss Field Application Specialist at MBL.
Nishi said it was “a great collaborative effort” at MBL to launch the system. Former Education Director Bill Reznikoff initiated the project and Nishi carried it through, working with course directors from the Embryology, FIR, and Zebrafish Development and Genetics courses.
Chris Carroll and Connor Fraser of MBL IT and Bill Haskins of Apparatus worked with McIlvain on the implementation.
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the David Sullivan Memorial Fund generously provided funding to purchase the microscope systems, with a subsidy provided by Zeiss.
Above photos: Digital classroom microscope systems lined up for classroom placement; projection of a penny from one of the microscopes. Credit: Bill Haskins
Top photo: Frontiers in Reproduction student Heather Talbott, a postdoctoral scientist at Oregon Health & Science University, works at a microscope with the image projected behind her for classmates to view. Credit: Diana Kenney