High Five!

Networkable Microscopes

Lon Jarvis, the Scientific Computer Specialist for Biology and Doug Gimbert of CIT’s Classroom Technology Services worked together to develop a lab in the BioScience building that allows students to share and capture their microscope images. The students are able to do this by using the Zeiss app on iPads that allows them to see a microscope view of what is being viewed on the corresponding Zeiss Primo Star microscope. Lon developed this idea for the biology lab after seeing the new Zeiss networkable microscopes. This system would give the students a unique experience by being able to share their lab work with everyone in the room . He did some research and figured out how to connect the microscopes to an AirPort Extreme wireless router to create a local area network that the iPads could connect to. Doug worked with Lon to integrate the new system into the lab workstations and helped set up the network so that it could function with the existing room design.

There are eight classes in this lab per semester and most work in groups to view what is under the microscope. Having the iPads connected to the microscopes saves time in the lab, as it allows everyone in the group to see what is under the scope at the same time rather than each student having to look through the microscope.

The Zeiss app also features a capture capability, providing students with an opportunity to take pictures of what they see under the microscope and review them later. The lab also features collaborative uses, as the iPads are able to link to the projector. Lon said, “We’re ahead of the curve on this” in reference to higher education technology.                                                                  

This is not the first time that Lon and Doug have worked together to develop a space that “really excites students,” as Lon said. Back in 2012, they worked together to design an Anatomy lab that features 70 inch interactive flat panels. Read more about that in a previous High Five feature.