Science: Year 7 Inspect The Building Blocks of Life
Mr Scott’s Year 7 pupils are learning about cells in Biology this half term, using powerful microscopes to see these building blocks of all living things.
To start, the children prepared their own slides from an onion, extracting a delicate layer of onion skin only one cell thick, staining it with iodine to improve visibility and then viewing the results at magnifications of up to 400 times.
This was sufficient to view the tiny structures inside the cell including the nucleus and the cytoplasm.
They extended this investigation with a more challenging activity; attempting to view their own living cells!
This involved taking a gentle swab of the inside of the cheek with a sterile cotton bud, using this to transfer a tiny sample of cells to their microscopes.
This process takes time and practice to achieve pleasing results, so the children’s sense of pride in achieving such detailed images was immense and so much more educationally effective than simply seeing pictures in a textbook.
These laboratory experiences will obviously enhance the pupils academic progress towards Common Entrance examinations and equally importantly encourage their awareness of the power of Science to inspire and enlighten.