Earlier this year, the UNI Department of Biology received a $213,000 grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, which was used to purchase new microscopes outfitted with real-time imaging technology.

The new compound microscopes and stereo microscopes are outfitted with cameras that allow images to be displayed in real-time on a computer monitor, laptop or personal device. Users will be able to capture images, annotate them and use them in lab reports or for studying.

With this enhanced and enlarged image of study specimens, faculty will be able to very quickly see which students are doing well in their investigations and which need coaching.

“We’re very excited to put these to use,” said Theresa Spradling, head of the UNI Department of Biology. “Because of the collaborative nature of these new microscopes, faculty will be better able to help students, and it will engage students in discussions about their findings – leading to more inspired and durable learning outcomes.”

The microscopes, which were delivered in April, will be used in biology classes by an average of more than 300 students from various majors across campus each semester.

“Traditional microscopy has long been one of the most solitary activities a biology student could engage in,” Spradling said. “Classrooms where all students were working independently at microscopes tended to be quiet places where students would call the instructor over to discuss what they were seeing, perhaps then showing other students, one at a time. With the new equipment, we will bring a lively and collaborative experience to our students. We would like to thank the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust for their generous gift that made this purchase possible.