National Aeronautics and Space Administration
High-Power Microscopes: The Virtual Lab

This Web Seminar took place on January 11, 2012 from 8:15 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. Eastern Time. Presenting was Kristy Hill, an education specialist at Marshall Space Flight Center. In this Seminar, Ms. Hill focused the discussion on The Virtual Lab, a software tool that simulates a scanning electron microscope.

The PowerPoint, related resources from the NSTA Learning Center, and web links from the presentation are now contained in the above resource collection. Clicking on the collection link will place it in your Learning Center, My Library, neatly organized under the My Resource Collections tab.

This is second presentation of the High-Power Microscopes: The Virtual Lab program for the 2011-2012 academic year. Ms. Hill introduced participants to the Virtual Lab website where teachers can download the software and find instructions for using it in the classroom. Participants had a chance to explore the site for themselves before Ms. Hill gave a demonstration of the actual software through a desktop share. Ms. Hill also shared information about NASA Explorer Schools and the resources available to teachers on the NES website.

Seventy-five (75) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. In addition, four participants joined the program from countries outside of the United States: Dominica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Turkey.

Seminar participants received one of the NSTA SciGuides. A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants' My PD Record and Certificates area in the NSTA Learning Center for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • “I will be using the virtual lab in my earth science, biology, and anatomy classes.”
  • “If seeing is believing, then my students will be excited to observe these projected (but enlarged) images. This will work better than just reading and drawing.”
  • “Gave great free resources and fun ways to engage students.”
  • “This will allow me to show students the usefulness of microscopes and give them a chance to explore images and make conclusions based on information in the images.”

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!

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