Explore the micro world and compare the structures and functions of plant and animal cells. Investigate the parts of the cell that are the basis of life.

Major Concepts To Be Explored:

  • What are cells? 
  • What are some similarities and differences between plant and animal cells? 
  • How can microscopes help study things that are too small to see with the naked eye?

Essential Standards: 

7.L.1.2

Goals of the Program:

  • To provide an opportunity for students to explore the world of microscopic life including plant and animal cells and their own cheek cells. 
  • To allow students to compare and contrast the structures and organelles of plant and animal cells. 
  • To familiarize students with several types of microscopes and how to use them.

Class Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Use a microscope 
  • Prepare a slide of their own cheek cells 
  • Identify similarities and differences of plant and animal cells

Methods and Activities:

  • A brief introduction asks students to consider how the world would look magnified hundreds or even thousands of times. 
  • Students learn the parts of a compound microscope and prepare slides to examine their own cheek cells. 
  • Students make observations of plant and animal cells and discuss their similarities and differences. 
  • Students use a handheld video microscope to explore various objects and themselves (arm, head, clothes).

Key Vocabulary:

Magnification, Microscope, Pipette, Slide, Cover Slip, Organelles, Mitochondria, Nucleus, Cell Wall, Cell Membrane, Semi-Permeable, Vacuole, Chloroplast

Set-up Needs:

  • Tables or desks for students to work in pairs 
  • Teaching/presentation space must be accessible via wheeled cart. 
  • Access to electricity. 
  • Access to a trash can for disposal of used cheek swabs and slides. 
  • Screen or blank wall for projected materials 
  • Approximate set-up and clean-up time – 30 minutes before and after program. Program will need to remain set up and secured from students for the entire day if multiple programs are booked. 
  • 15 min needed between sessions to clean-up and restock stations. 
  • Secure storage location for materials if left overnight.

Call to Book

704.372.6261 x300
  • Grades 3 - 8
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • $150 first class / $125 each additional class (same class, same day)
  • Maximum 25 students