Two important skills for scientists in developmental and cell biology, as well as in fields such as neurobiology, histology and pathology, are: 1) observation of features and details in microscopic images of cells, and 2) quantification of cellular features observed in microscopic images. However, current training in developmental and cell biology does not emphasize observation and quantitative analysis of microscopic images, and it is unclear how best to teach students these skills. Here, we describe our experiences applying visual artistic approaches to instruct undergraduate and graduate students in how to observe and analyze cellular forms in microscopic images. At Loyola Marymount University, we used representational drawing to enhance undergraduate students’ skills in observation of fine cellular details in microscopic images of embryos. At Touro University California, we paired abstract paintings with microscopic images of tissues to engage masters and medical students in learning quantitative measurements of cellular features. Overall, this paper explains specific ways in which visual arts can be used to instruct and engage students in observation and analysis of microscopic images of cells and tissues.
Creative Commons License
Ezin, Max; Noravian, Christina; Mahomed, Amira; Lyle, Adam; Gill, Aveleen; and Elul, Tamira
"Visual Arts Enhance Instruction in Observation and Analysis of Microscopic Forms in Developmental and Cell Biology,"
The STEAM Journal:
2, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarship.claremont.edu/steam/vol4/iss2/8