Program Details:

Art Meets Science: Teaching 3D Modeling of Cell Structures to Middle School Students

The importance of integrating visual and spatial skills to engage learners has been well documented. Children are visual and creative beings, and it follows that teaching science in a visual-spatial environment will aid in their ability to learn and help them become excited about science. In this project, we offer a unique outreach opportunity to blend art with science by partnering with a St. Vrain Valley Public School that is a Focus School for the Arts (Sunset Middle School). We will provide an opportunity to teach 3D modeling software developed in our lab (Boulder Laboratory for 3D Electron Microscopy of Cells) and will supply computer-based, cell volume data sets for the students to model, study and display in an artistic context. Cell biology is introduced in the 7th grade science curriculum and we will target this age group for our outreach program. The students will receive an introduction to 3D microscopy of cells and will be taught the 3D modeling software with the help of two CU undergraduate students. The students will learn how these methods are applied in real biomedical research at the University of Colorado and around the world. Our hope is that with this experience, students will become more interested in science, become visual and spatial learners and build confidence so that they can succeed in future science courses.

This is a private program by request only, or for a specific audience or group.


On Campus

  • Porter Biosciences

In Colorado

  • Boulder
  • Longmont

Sponsoring Units

Arts & Sciences, College of

  • Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology (MCDB), Department of

Program Contact

Eileen O'Toole
Research Associate
303 492-7980

Program Categories


  • Biological Sciences
  • Computer Science
  • Education (K-12)
  • Science

Program Types:

  • Classroom Instruction


  • Students - Middle School

We do our best to accurately represent CU Boulder’s outreach programs and services, but they are subject to change and may no longer be active in a community. Please contact the program directly for current information.