Cell Biologists Go Under the Microscope

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As part of their study on living things, Patricia Woods’ sixth grade class at Minnesauke Elementary School recently took on the role of cell biologists as they studied onion tissue during a hands-on science lab. 

Before their analysis, the students discussed the differences between plant and animal cells, as well as living and non-living things. They considered the function of the overlapping cell barrier as they made connections between human skin and onion tissue, and they learned key terms such as cell membrane, cytoplasm and cell wall. They also formulated hypotheses on what they thought they would see prior to putting the onion cell slides under magnification. 

Assisted by Ms. Woods, district elementary science consultant Sarah Doepp and teaching assistant Christina DeSantis, the students then examined a layer of red onion under the microscope. They considered why onion and skin cells are flat and seem to overlap and discussed the benefits of that cellular structure.