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Under the Microscope: Using Images to Enhance Inquiry—the Exploratorium
All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions

This Web Seminar, developed in collaboration with the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) took place on Tuesday, March 11, 2008, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. In this program, the presenters discussed classroom explorations based on digital images taken from the Exploratorium’s Imaging Station and from inquiry-based classroom activities and lessons being created and developed through the Exploratorium Teacher Institute.

Kristina Yu, staff microscopist and staff scientist at the Exploratorium in San Francisco showcased the excellent collection of images, video, and background content developed for the Exploratorium’s Microscope Imaging Station (MIS). Some examples of microscopic images include sea urchin cell development, human red blood cells, and zebra fish embryo development. The site is a great resource for educators acquiring new and supplemental resources to share with students. Karen Kalumuck, biologist and educator for the Exploratorium Teacher Institute, introduced classroom activities that are being developed to accompany the MIS. These activities and inquiry-based lessons utilize the images and video content to teach concepts in genetics, size of scale, characteristics of living things, and other topics primarily at the middle school level. Note: The Exploratorium Teacher Institute section of the website is still under development and will be available in April 2008.

Forty-six (46) participants were present at the live Web Seminar, in addition to the presenters, the NSDL moderator, and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of California, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. One participated attended the program from Washington DC. Participants received a one-year subscription to one of NSTA’s SciGuides 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:

  • “This was fantastic! Thanks so much! I am a first time attendee. I plan to do

  • “Both presenters were very clear and their enthusiasm for science came
    through in their explanations.”

  • “Using microscopes is such a high interest activity for the students. However,
    my school's budget does not allow for much in the way of materials. The Exploratorium's site will certainly be helpful!”

  • “I am mentoring new biology and environmental teachers in my department.
    I'm excited to share this information with them.”

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


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