What is Chickscope?
Educators and researchers from several departments at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign initiated
Chickscope, a chicken embryonic
development project, to demonstrate the remote control
of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system through the
World Wide Web.
Chickscope overview is a tutorial for interested
teachers and parents. For 21 days (April 10 to May 1,
1996), students and teachers from ten classrooms ranging
from kindergarten to high school participated in
Chickscope. MR imaging was integrated into classroom
curriculum in a variety of ways. The project materials
are accessible for use in the classroom, but this
overview provides a convenient starting point.
Using computers in their classrooms with access to
the Internet, students and teachers were able to login
to the computers at the university that controlled the
MRI system, manipulate experimental conditions through a
simple Web interface to generate their own data, and
then view the resulting MR images of the chick embryo in
real time. Figure 1 shows a sample image acquisition
through the simple interface by primary school classroom
students. Researchers at the university answered
students' questions about the images and related
Figure 1: A sample image acquisition by the
primary school classroom
Remote control of scientific instruments over the
Internet is commonly referred to as remote
instrumentation. Using a standard Web browser,
researchers, teachers, or students in any location and
at any time have the potential to access the latest
scientific instruments without having to travel to a
remote site or invest in the hardware themselves.
Accordingly, the Web becomes a laboratory-a World Wide
Laboratory (see the ITG Remote Microscopy page). Chickscope is a working example
of this WWL concept.
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