The 8th graders at CHA learned about the process of cell division (or reproduction), mitosis. Mitosis allows our wounds to heal, embryos to develop, and starfish to regrow their limbs! The process occurs over four stages: Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase. First, the cell must grow and duplicate all of its contents, including its DNA. The two sets then get pulled toward opposite ends of the cell, a new nuclear envelope is formed around the chromosomes, and finally the cytoplasm splits to form two separate daughter cells. The daughter cells are clones of the original parent cell and are genetically identical!
After reviewing the steps of mitosis, the students got to prepare their own microscope slides to observe mitosis in action! We used the root tips of freshly grown green onions, since these cells are constantly going through mitosis. After viewing their own stained cells, they got to view professionally stained cells going through mitosis and identified the stages they were going through.