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MicroscopyEducation


years. It is tremendously ineffi cient. It limits the number of students to those that can clearly see over the instructor’s shoulder, and the presence of so many bodies close to the instrument can actually interfere with the instrument’s performance. Advanced microscopes are typically controlled remotely from a neighboring room because humans perturb the environment enough to interfere with the microscope’s ability to perform at the highest level. If a TEM can be operated remotely from the room next door, why not make that room larger and set it up specifi cally to enhance the training experience?


Figure 4 : Image of the OSU-FEI Electron Microscopy Collaboratory space at CEMAS. Multiple operation stations allow every microscope—TEM, SEM, FIB—to be controlled from this hybrid laboratory.


STEM education, have signed a strategic research partnership agreement that covers many common areas of activity, including electron and ion beam characterization. N.C. A&T, the fi rst university partner outside Ohio, is home to the NSF Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials (ERC-RMB). T e link with CEMAS will allow ERC-RMB students to connect to our facility remotely, take part in interactive courses in advanced microscopy, and use CEMAS instruments in their research. T e partnership with N.C.A&T is an excellent example of remote microscopy’s potential to bring together two world-leading research organizations to maximize the impact of research activities and federal funding.


Going Worldwide


“If this works in Ohio is there any reason why it can’t work in any state?” T is is a question that has been asked by program managers in several funding agencies. T e follow-on question is: “If this works for electron microscopy can it work for other expensive techniques those agencies are frequently asked to support, such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) or beam lines for X-ray diff raction?” T ough microscopy is at the heart of CEMAS’s eff orts, the concept clearly goes way beyond that. Teaching microscopy . T is is not only about providing researchers with access to advanced instrumentation for scientifi c research, this is about changing the way electron microscopy is taught and, ultimately, how the operation of any complex system is taught. Most electron microscopy teaching labs feature an electron microscope in a confi ned space with an “expert” operator sitting at the controls in front of the microscope, and four or fi ve students crowded together peering over the operator’s shoulder. T e expert demonstrates something, and then the students take turns at the controls duplicating the exercise. T at’s how microscopists are trained today, and that’s how they have been trained for the past 50


30


The OSU-FEI Electron Microscopy Collaboratory Classroom-laboratory . A digital lecture theater at CEMAS, completed in 2016, seats 33 students and has a video wall at the front that is 6 feet tall and 20 feet wide ( Figure 4 ). An instructor can deliver a lecture and


present examples from the microscope on the screen at the same time. Also visible are all the control panels of microscope, and the outputs of the detectors and the imaging system ( Figure 5 ). T e instructor has a set of digital microscope controls at the lectern, and all of the students in the theater have access to full microscope controls, in some instances from their own laptop or tablet. So rather than describing the theory and practice of operating the microscope to the students in the lecture hall and moving to the microscope in another location to demonstrate, the instructor can take control of the microscope and show the students the use of the instrument in real time. In turn the instructor can “fl ip” from the classroom to the laboratory environment, for example, inviting Francesca in seat 14: “You now have control. Will you please repeat what I have


Figure 5 : Operation of the aberration-corrected microscope in the OSU-FEI collaboratory space allows all members of the audience to learn microscopy and interact with the microscope in an environment that is conducive to active and engaged learning.


www.microscopy-today.com • 2018 September


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