This spring, we opened the doors to the new microscopy teaching lab! The microscopy teaching center (MTC) has been a long term goal of the core with Dr. Glen Marrs beginning the process approximately five years ago. Typically, teaching labs are set up with old clunky microscopes, which are challenging to use and only produce low-end images. These types of microscopes can be frustrating and are not what students will come in contact with for most of their careers. Biology wanted to create a modern facility with microscopes that are used in research labs and produce high quality easy to see images.
A capital request that was funded in 2018 finally made this goal within reach. During the summer of 2018, Drs. Glen Marrs and Heather Brown-Harding choose the microscopes, designed the tables, and focused on how the technology would be fast and easy for a lab environment. The MTC is designed for up to 16 students and has 8 compound microscopes with fluorescence capabilities and 8 stereo microscopes. The microscopes have cameras that connect to iPads via Bluetooth and allow the students to quickly capture images of their sample or display what they have found to the whole class.
The first undergraduate class to use the MTC was Dr. Regina Cordy’s parasitology class. Students that had previously hated using microscopes during previous lab classes were suddenly excited about coming to the lab. The experience in the new teaching center was described as “easy and fun.” A graduate-level course also used the MTC for Biological Imaging that focuses on all aspects of microscopy for research.
We are excited about more upper-level classes using the MTC to give students an active learning experience. If you are interested in using the room for your class, please email Glen Marrs for availability.
marrsgs (at) wfu dot edu
News stories featuring the MTC: