Sophomore honors biology students recently completed a lab studying the stages of mitosis under the supervision of biology teacher Erica Everett. In the lab, pairs were given fragments of onion root to observe with compound light microscopes. Everett has been teaching students about mitosis with variations with this lab for about twenty years. Everett uses this particular lab because it gives students the ability to visualize and form a greater understanding of what cells look like while they are dividing, and how chromosomes and cells look during mitosis.
Sophomores Lydia Parker and Chris DiFluri begin the lab by correctly setting up the microscope and noting what they see. Their goal was to find cells in every stage and substage of the cycle. Credit: Hannah White and Sabrina Pallazola for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Sophomores in Erica Everett’s honors biology class were to find a record all the stages of the cell cycle. The most common stage was Interphase, when the cell grows and matures, and is where the cell spends most of its time in the cell cycle. Credit: Hannah White and Sabrina Pallazola for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Everett’s honors biology class observes onion cells through compound light microscopes in order for the students to be able to get more practice with them. Before being able to use the microscopes students had to complete a microscope quiz, and score above a 75. Credit: Hannah White for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Head of the science department Everett adjusts a student’s microscope accordingly in order for the onion cell on the slide to be observed and recorded. Students used compound light microscopes to look at the onion cells. Compound light microscopes use multiple lenses to project a light onto the object that needs to be magnified (can give a bigger magnification). Credit: Hannah White and Sabrina Pallazola for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Sophomore Jack Carlson looks into his microscope in order for him to count 25 cells and see what stages of mitosis each cell is going through. Looking at the onions allow students to see mitosis happen as it occurs. Credit: Hannah White and Sabrina Pallazola for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Sophomores Melissa Schuh and Tess Hosman worked on the onion lab together, in order for them to compare their results with themselves and other groups. A majority of the cells in the onion were found in prophase according to their results. Credit: Hannah White and Sabrina Pallazola for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online