Traditional lectures and cookbook laboratory exercises are today’s standard tools in scientific teaching and learning. However, these conventional methods are suboptimal. Combining active learning techniques with physical experiences can improve educational success significantly. Still, hands-on material which supports active and physical teaching concepts is rare. Here, we introduce an interactive, performance-based method.
As an example, we studied autophagosome formation. We observed assembly of the phagophore by membrane fusion, cargo isolation by bending the phagophore and membrane scission. We extracted characteristic time scales of autophagosome formation. Moreover, we observed capturing the autophagic cargo within a single membrane for the first time. In this chapter, we provide an easy tool to engage participants in the process of scientific perception. We are convinced that “hands-on” experiments and interactive analyses will encourage students to participate more actively in classes and thus, will improve learning. Moreover, we anticipate that the approach enhances translation of scientific concepts between different fields by providing scientists with a fresh view on, e.g., membrane-bound processes and can improve communication of science to the public.
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We thank Alexander May (Institute of Innovative Research/Tokyo Institute of Technology) for translations, cultural advice, and technical assistance. We further thank Yoshinori Ohsumi, Hitoshi Nakatogawa, and Nobuo Noda (Institute of Innovative Research/Tokyo Institute of Technology and Microbial Chemistry Research Foundation/Institute of Microbial Chemistry) and their lab members for strong support and participation in the experiment. We specifically thank Yoko Hara for motivation of the participants. We also thank Reinhard Lipowsky (MPI-CI) for institutional and financial support, and Ben Wiggins (University of Washington) and Constance Scharff (FU Berlin) for critical reading and discussion of the manuscript.
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