Saturday, June 21, 2014

e-microscope biology at San Sok

The location is Kamoughn Primary School, in San Sok in the north west of Phnom Penh. A bunch of children are crowding around an e-microscope.  They are studying an ant that a student caught earlier in the day.  They are then asked to sketch what they see, an image of the ant magnified 50 times.  They are guided by students from HKPolyU in our service-learning subject “Technology beyond borders”, and students from AHRDI, a Cambodian community college. 

Some of the children do a very good job sketching the ant, particularly considering that they see a computer, a microscope, and an ant in such detail for the first time in their lives.  Sitting in their midst is Mr. Fong Ngai, director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (ASEAN), responsible for 10 South East Asian countries.  

The e-microscope consists of a frame that holds up the iPAD, a holder for a lens in front of the iPAD’s camera for increased magnification, and a holder for a slide with the specimen.  It was made using a 3D printer, just in time for this project in Cambodia.  

Our students went through months of lectures and workshops. They learned about service-learning, the digital divide, appropriate technology solutions, Cambodian culture, teaching methods, linking academic studies to community service, and proper reflections on their service experience.  They collected a lot of teaching material such as videos and photographs, and prepared their own lesson plans, teaching material and worksheets.  All these hard work culminate in 5 days of service here in San Sok.  We all find it wonderfully rewarding.  


Cyiu Chau said...

e-microsope! very impressive. Who was the modern-day Leeuwenhoek behind all the lenses? Guess it took so many trials to get the correct design. And the iOS app.? Was it off-the-shelf or did some of the students made it?

StephenC said...

Who do you think? Dr. G found someone attached a lens to an iPAD to make a microscope. And we went on to make our own. We didn't invent it. But we did design our own. Yes, many many rounds of trial and error. Using 3D printers.