Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Art of Scale

In the spirit of full disclosure you should know up front that I have no books to share today. I'm taking a brief departure from the typical entry you find on this blog because I ran across two Web pages last night that fascinated me. I thought I would share them with you in hopes that you would know of a piece of literature or two that could be used along with these sites. I also hope that these resources inspire you to share your ideas for teaching scale.

SOURCE: Image of Swine Flu from

The above photo is one example of the dozen or so unusual glass sculptures created by Luke Jerram. Each beautiful piece is an authentic representation of some of the deadliest viruses on our planet. The sculptures are each about 1,000,000 times the size of the actual pathogen.

While exploring Jerram's Glass microbiology site I found a link to Learn Genetics and a depiction that is a great illustration of scale that can help you and your students comprehend just how small single cell organisms are compared to familiar items such as a coffee bean, grain of rice and a sesame seed.

Teaching Tip
I think both sites are great visual resources to use when teaching scale. What do you think? Do you see applications for these sites in your classroom? What resources and activities do you use to teach scale?

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