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How can students use Chickscope and NIH imaging to gather and manipulate data concerning the developing chick embryo?

Susan Herricks ( (ready to use)

Partner Projects
Chickscope, EADS

Subject Areas
Educational Technology, Science

Grade Levels
9, 10, 11, 12

Unit Keywords
Chickscope, NIH-imaging, chick, embryo, technology

Open Directory Category
Science, Biology

Rationale of the Unit
Chickscope is an interactive web-based program developed by the University of Illinois, NCSA and the Beckman Institute that enables students to view the developing chick embryo using Magnetic Resonance Imaging techniques. Students can chose and manipulate images creating data resulting in original research. Chickscope is an example of the natural integration of computer technology within the classroom reminding teachers of the power and appeal of this technology upon the student.

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Background and Resources
The purpose of this lab is to engage students in the scientific method of learning through interactive educational computer technology. Students will use NIH imaging, ClarisWorks software and the Internet to develop a hypothesis relative to the growth of of the developing chick embryo. They will find and save a montage of images from Chickscope’s interactive web site. NIH imaging will be used to scale and measure images. Data will be collected and analyzed through the ClarisWorks software. Conclusions will then be researched and written in paragraph form, including data and graphs from the images collected.
In order to ensure success, students will need to read and follow directions. The proper capturing, saving and scaling of the images is critical to the data compariso

See uploaded ChickscopeNIH for the computer based lab.
The second two files Chickscope1-5 and 6-21 are worksheets meant to introduce and familiarize the student with the Chickscope website.
You may wish to use the Heart lab as an opened ended lab. It has given many good discussion about cell division, specialization, etc.

For the first three uploaded files, an internet connection and a copy of the worksheet is all that is needed


1. Bruce, B.C., Carragher, B.O., Damon, B.M., Dawson, M.J., Eurell, J.A., Gregory, C. D., Lauterbur, P.C., Marjanovic, M.M., Mason-Fossum, B., Morris, H.D., Potter, C.s., Thakkar, U. "Chickscope: An Interactive MRI Classroom Curriculum Innovation for K-12". Computers and Education Journal. May 1997.
2. Potter, Clinton S., and Thakkar, Umesh. "Chickscope: An Innovative World Wide Laboratory for K-12 Classrooms". National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Abstract. 1997.
3. Glatthorn, Allan A., and Baron, Jonathan. "The Good Thinker". Developing Minds: A resource Book for Teaching Thinking. Ed. Arthur L. Costa. Alexandria Va. 1985.

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Activities and Open-ended problems
IN-CLASS ACTIVITIES -- activities and discussions within synchronous classes

The Chickscope unit is done in conjunction with cell division,DNA, and genetics. I start the eggs at the beginning of the cell division study. Students are amazed at the progess of the embryo over a 24 hour period. This makes cell division more real than anything else I have done with them. Chickscope re-emphasizes this concept. Then I go into DNA and genetics. The chickens are good here because you can get eggs that hatch different colors that are sex linked - perfect for genetics. The little balloon heart lab is also a favorite. This lab really brings interensting discussions about cell specialization and cell division. Try them.

LAB ACTIVITIES -- work to do in labs or other special settings
The computer labs are done with no real material requirements - just the on-line omcputer and the worksheets. I would suggest that you go over the NIH imaging just to familiarize yourself with it. The lab are up to date as of 6/4/01, but this may be subject to chainge. If you have questions, please email me. I have tried to make the directions as user friendly as possible. You can find and create several labs around the incubating eggs. Perhaps the best is to candle the eggs on a regualar basis for the first half of the incubation. Use a slide projector in a dark room. This set up works the best of any I have found. Look at the other Chickscope labs and hints that are availabe on line.


OPEN-ENDED PROBLEMS -- creative extensions

The Heart Lab (see below) is probably the best example here. Try it with your students! Other ideas can involve power point presentations, work with younger students, etc.

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Dialogues, Discussions, and Presentations





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Assessment, Related Questions, and Story of the Unit


STORY OF THE UNIT -- How did it go?


Credits & Acknowledgements
Dr. Chip Bruce and Dr. Umesh Thakkar

Uploaded Files:

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