In September 2015, Lumenera donated seven of our high-performance INFINITY digital microscopy cameras to the BioBus, a mobile microscope laboratory based in New York City that gives students the opportunity for hands-on scientific exploration.
Throughout the past school year, the BioBus boarded over 30,000 students and, outfitted with research-grade laboratory equipment and staffed by professional scientists, gave them the chance to explore their natural world through the eyepiece of a microscope and to take photos of their discoveries. These discoveries included specimens that could be found in their immediate surroundings, such as their own cheek cells, plant cells, flies, mosquitos, and even algae, barnacles and amphipods from NYC’s East River. (Photo on the Left: Students and scientist examining specimen on the BioBus.)
The BioBus sent us the photos taken by the students and we held a public poll to select a winner for the best photo taken all year, which won its classroom a $500 back-to-school supply shopping spree and a microscope. (Winning photo for the "Student Cell-fie Image Contest on the right. View all the student images taken on the BioBus here.)
Our friends at BioBus told us that our INFINITY microscope cameras made the experience significantly more impactful for both students and staff. As the hands-on, visual nature of microscopy is key to the success of their program, our research-grade cameras led to an enhanced learning experience for the students—they were more engaged and eager to spend more time on the microscopes, and able to ask more questions about the real-time results they were seeing on the monitors thanks to the video frame rate and high definitions images our cameras produced.
This inspired us… What if we could spark a passion for science in even more students?! We then decided that we wanted the students in our own backyard to have access to our research-grade microscope cameras. So this school year, we donated 48 INFINITY microscope cameras to high schools across the Ottawa area—the community in which we operate and proudly support.
Throughout the summer, we worked with Ottawa high school science teachers and hosted training sessions for them to become familiar with the cameras and imaging software. Now high school students heading back to school this month will find their science classrooms newly equipped with high-end microscope cameras. (Photo below: Science teachers from the Ottawa Catholic School Board holding their new INFINITY microscope cameras.)
Our hope is that these cameras will create a collaborative and inspiring learning environment similar to that on the BioBus, facilitating discussions between students and teachers, and enabling the students to capture images of their scientific experiments utilizing a superior imaging solution.
By giving students access to the type of research-grade equipment that you would find in post-secondary institutions and professional research labs, Lumenera aims to foster a passion for science and inspire them at an early age to consider a career in the field.