Chickscope

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In simple terms, the Chickscope project site is a Web based laboratory notebook. The site was designed to facilitate instruction and interaction in the following three ways. First, by focusing on the interests, needs, and skills of students and teachers across all grade levels. Second, by encouraging students and teachers to visit the site everyday, even on days when they could not access the MRI system. Third, by providing support to guide the scientific inquiry process in the classroom. The main sections of the project site included the following: Today's News, MRI Database, Chicken Scratchings, and Roosts.

Today's News provided daily progress on chick embryo development using candled images, MR images, and color plates as visual illustrations. When possible, images acquired by the students were used to demonstrate a concept or an image acquisition strategy. For example, Day 4 provided an overview on the eye of the embryo.

MRI Database archives the images that were acquired by the classrooms along with the control parameters and user information for later review. The control parameters, such as direction of view and image contrast, were easy to use. Additionally, on-line help on any of the control parameters was available with examples. The database is accessible at all times, even when the MRI system is not available.

Chicken Scratchings allowed students and teachers to ask questions and record observations about the project. Scratchings were generally about classroom activities, chick embryo development, and MR images. Experts would respond daily to the scratchings.

Each senior researcher associated with the project supported a Web page for their area of expertise, such as Carl's Roost. These roosts were used to document project results and respond scratchings from students and teachers. Annotated images with notes on the daily growth of the chick were also recorded here. Researchers also used these resources to suggest activities or exercises that might be used in the classrooms, for example, a discussion of the chemistry of the egg.



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