“Image of the Week”(http://www.biointeractive.org/image-week) is a weekly presentation of scientific images from working scientists in the fields of life and earth sciences presented by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). A core aim of this non-profit organization for medical research is to foster innovative science education for students from pre-college through graduate study. “Image of the Week” is among a wealth of free materials – science videos, apps, and animations – available to science teachers and students on the HHMI BioInteractive website (www.biointeractive.org).
Each week a new image is listed on a single web page with descriptions and technical details of how each image was produced. Links for further information about the subject of each picture are included with each listing.
The homepage of “Image of the Week” displays 12 scientific images, each with a catchy title (e.g., “New Year Bash” or “To Brine, Or Not To Brine”) and a thumbnail phrase that pulls viewers into the topic. At the bottom of this first screen, a bar invites you to “Find More Images of the Week.” Clicking the bar opens a page where you can choose your criteria (“Image of the Week”) and sort images by date, alphabetical order, relevance (to the criteria), or recommended. Within “Image of the Week,” you can refine results from an active list of 50+ topics ranging from biodiversity (30 items), to paleobiology (6), to viruses (5), and dozens more. Clicking on paleobiology, for example, leads to captivating images such as a 55.4-million-year-old fossil bird feather, a tree scorpion glowing eerily under UV light, and the skull of an early African hominid!
A new image is posted each week and, whether new or archival, the images can be downloaded for educational use free of charge. The source of the images also adds to their appeal: All have been submitted by scientists/researchers, who receive full credit on the BioInteractive website. Individual pictures can be easily shared via Facebook, Twitter, or email, and the free download function enables teachers to save or display the .jpg files on their computers or other devices for classroom or educational uses. Students – especially highly visual learners – may be attracted first by the site’s visual appeal, then become intrigued by each picture’s scientific description, the techniques used for image production, or the informative accompanying links.
About the Creators:
HHMI’s science education program was established in 1987, and the BioInteractive website continues to provide numerous free science education resources. These resources are created by a team of scientist educators, graphic artists, video producers, and outreach professionals who collaborate closely with scientists, film producers, animators, and programmers, as well as science teachers and undergraduate educators.