The experiments allowed students to appreciate the complexity and beauty of the microworld on huge screens instead of tiny ones. There was something magical about the having two 4K (ultra-high-definition) monitors in Chattanooga, with the USC scientists on one screen and the feed from the microscope on the other ... a bright senior named Erica who told me she was going to Howard University the following fall, said working with the scope made her want to major in biology. Inspiration, from eighteen hundred miles away.
One of the earliest success stories from our group of Smart Gigabit Communities was the development of an application that let students in Chattanooga, Tennessee view and manipulate a 4K microscope located across the country in the Annenberg Lab at the University of Southern California. The project has come a long way since those early days, and Chattanooga has turned its attention to expanding access to the application to additional public schools across the region.
From the introduction of new technologies to making sure the future workforce is prepared for jobs that haven’t even been created yet, Chattanooga continues to leverage community resources in ways that other small and mid-sized cities aren’t doing yet, officials say.
Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said gigabit-speed connectivity has also unlocked the possibilities of online education and allowed more students to connect via the internet with high-tech equipment at remote locations. On Thursday, for instance, students in an advanced placement biology class at Red Bank High School were able to use the 4K streaming capability provided by EPB to remotely connect to the microscope at the STEM school at Chattanooga State Community College.
“Thirty years ago, when I grew up here, Chattanooga was a city that was dying,” Berke said. “The reason that we’re out front now is not because of the gig, but what we’re doing with the gig.”
TechKnow contributor Kosta Grammatis visited the Chattanooga STEM School, a magnet high school on the campus of Chattanooga State Community College, to see how gigabit connectivity is helping power K-12 education. At the Fab Lab, students were able to remotely control a 4K microscope located 1,800 miles away at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.