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Tische mit Mikroskopen darauf © Heiko Harten


Investment in teaching: New modern course microscopes for biology

Bacteria, fungi, multicellular organisms of the animal and plant world - all of these can be analyzed in detail under the microscope during Biology courses at the University of Osnabrück. Investing around €100,000 in study quality funds, the department has now purchased 25 state-of-the-art microscopes, thus expanding the existing equipment in the biology course rooms.

The new microscopes are connected with each other via CCD cameras to form a "digital course room" and thus open up completely new possibilities in teaching. Students can thus already gain experience with the digitization of microscopy - one of the best-known and oldest methods in biology.

Zwei Personen überprüfen Mikroskope © Heiko Harten

Aufbau und Qualitätskontrolle der Mikroskope.

"With the help of these microscopes and the software we have also acquired, we teachers can see exactly what our students are seeing. Accordingly, questions can be discussed and answered directly on the basis of the specimen lying under the respective microscope. In addition, interesting structures that someone has discovered individually can be shown and explained to all other course participants. This is a huge step forward and opens up completely new didactic possibilities," says Dr. Heiko Harten, researcher in the research group Zoology and Developmental Biology at the faculty. "Interested lecturers are welcome to contact me to borrow the microscopes, which are available to all research groups via the common equipment pool, and receive a brief introduction on how to use them."

The "Labscope" software purchased with the new microscopes allows live images of all connected instruments to be viewed at any time and from anywhere in the room. In conjunction with the beamers already installed in the lab rooms, images from any microscope can be projected onto a screen and discussed with the full course.