The educational resource “Microscope in Action” (MiA) brings fluorescence microscopy into the classroom.
It consists of a research-grade fluorescence microscopy kit along with complimentary teacher and student materials: ready-to-use experimental protocols, exercises, student worksheets, educator material, and further reading recommendations.
The educational resource “Microscope in Action”, a collaboration between researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), EMBLEM Technology Transfer GmbH, and the European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences (ELLS), brings fluorescence microscopy into the classroom and engages children and young adults in cutting-edge science.
As we were deciding on which new resources to develop, we quickly realised that there was little hands-on material available for teachers to introduce fluorescence microscopy to their pupils. However, the method is well established and fundamental in many laboratories focusing on cell and molecular biology, and therefore should become part of the curriculum. This resource brings fluorescence microscopy into the classroom and engages children and young adults in cutting-edge science.
During the project’s development, we strove to ensure that the microscope remained research-grade. As a result, it can now be used not only in schools but also in universities and other research institutions.
One of the key features of the microscope is that it can be assembled and disassembled piece-by-piece. This offers a hands-on, inquiry-based opportunity, allowing the user to visually understand the underlying physics of the microscope thus getting a deep understanding of the tool and the principles behind it. The resource covers the entire process of microscopy, including sample preparation, imaging samples, and image analysis. We have prepared the accompanying teacher and student materials in a way that connects students to Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
“Microscope in Action” is designed to be a flexible resource suitable for students as young as 10 years old through to university level students. The resource includes teacher and student materials with 12+ optional protocols about microscope assembly, preparation of samples, and imaging, providing users with the freedom to use the resource for anywhere from 2 to 12 hours. The microscope is research-grade, includes components that life scientists use in the research lab, and arrives as a disassembled microscope that the students build. For this reason, students are immediately immersed in an inquiry-based project which can then be used to focus on a wide range of subjects and topics including but not limited to those listed below. Tab on the subject to reveal topics.
We regularly provide professional training for teachers on using the “Microscope in Action” resource. For more information about upcoming courses, please visit our teacher training page.
The “Microscope in Action” educational resource is accompanied by comprehensive learning and teaching materials which support teachers to deliver activities using the microscope.
The teacher and student materials are password protected pages. For more information, please contact us via email.
The teacher materials include the step-by-step assembly guide for the microscope, safety information, proposed schedules on how to integrate the resource into lessons, selected lab protocols, student worksheets with answers, and ready-to-use instructional materials such as PowerPoint slides and links to external resources.
The student materials include safety information, student protocols, worksheets, and links to external resources. The student materials can be printed or downloaded as a digitally editable PDF.
Information on purchasing the microscope available soon! Teaching and learning materials accompanying the microscope are provided free of charge.
Building microscopes to learn biology, EMBL news, 10 February 2020
“Microscope in Action” goes into action, ELLS news, 28 November 2019
“Science in a suitcase”, EMBL news, 12 March 2018
Kickstart “Von Natur bis Technik – Mikroskope in Aktion”, ELLS news, 25 October 2017