Microscopy Images as Interactive Tools in Cell Modeling and Cell Biology Education
Tania C. Araujo-Jorge,*§ Tania S. Cardona,* Cl´ udia L.S. Mendes,* ´ a Andrea Henriques-Pons,* Rosane M.S. Meirelles,* Cl´ udia M.L.M. a * Luiz Edmundo V. Aguiar,† Maria de Nazareth L. Meirelles,‡ Coutinho, Solange L. de Castro,* Helene S. Barbosa,‡ andMauricio R.M.P. Luz*
*Laboratory of Cell Biology and ‡ Laboratory of Cell Ultrastructure, Department of Ultrastructure and Cell Biology, Oswaldo Cruz Institute—Fiocruz, Av. Brasil 4365, Rio de Janeiro, Manguinhos, RJ 21045-900; and † CEFET—Qu´mica, Rua Lucio Tavares 1045, Centro, Nilopolis, RJ 26530-060, Brasil ı ´
Submitted August 29, 2003; Revised February 7, 2004; Accepted February 10, 2004Monitoring Editor: Mary Lee Ledbetter
The advent of genomics, proteomics, and microarray technology has brought much excitement to science, both in teaching and in learning. The public is eager to know about the processes of life. In the present context of the explosive growth of scientiﬁc information, a major challenge of modern cell biology is to popularize basic concepts of structures and functionsof living cells, to introduce people to the scientiﬁc method, to stimulate inquiry, and to analyze and synthesize concepts and paradigms. In this essay we present our experience in mixing science and education in Brazil. For two decades we have developed activities for the science education of teachers and undergraduate students, using microscopy images generated by our work as cell biologists. Wedescribe open-air outreach education activities, games, cell modeling, and other practical and innovative activities presented in public squares and favelas. Especially in developing countries, science education is important, since it may lead to an improvement in quality of life while advancing understanding of traditional scientiﬁc ideas. We show that teaching and research can be mutuallybeneﬁcial rather than competing pursuits in advancing these goals.
Keywords: microscopy, high-school students
“Education has to be an integral part of science” —Bruce Alberts, President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (Opening address to the ASBMB meeting, May 1999, San Francisco)
The advent of genomics, microarray technology, protein structure determination, carbohydratechemistry, and catalytic RNA, among others, has brought much excitement to science, both in teaching and in learning (Huang, 2000). The public is eager to know about the processes of life, with cell biology and biochemistry at the center of the excitement. In the context of the explosive growth of scientiﬁc information, modern cell biology faces many challenges such as popularizing basic concepts ofstructure–function relationships of livDOI: 10.1187/cbe.03-08-0010 § Corresponding author. E-mail address: taniaaj@ioc.ﬁocruz.br.
ing cell, introducing people to the scientiﬁc method, stimulating inquiry, and reviewing general concepts and paradigms (Barghava, 1995). Undergraduate science education is challenged in countries that are large science producers, such as the United States (NationalScience Foundation, 1996), as well as in countrie that contribute to global science to only a minor extent, such as Brazil (Castro-Moreira, 2003). In Brazil, students and teachers are not familiar with real cell images and are introduced to cell biology mainly through premade drawings and diagrams that do not facilitate any real inquiry into cell structure or function. Some innovative strategiesto address these challenges have been developed, such as introducing research activities for students (Lanza, 1988); reading classical papers, reproducing classical experiments, analyzing results, and stimulating inquiry into new and old questions (Chiappetta, 1997; Uno, 1997); using research data in classrooms (e.g., http://www.loci.wisc.edu/outreach/); and mixing science and art in chemistry...