Education Outreach

Mitosis and Microscopy

Mitosis and Microscopy

About this lesson

The content of the lesson reinforces existing knowledge of mitosis, helps students transition from looking at drawn images or plant cells (such as in the classic onion cell mitosis experiment) to high resolution microscopy data, and introduces open research questions in the field of cell biology. Students also have the opportunity to explore what happens to cell structures that are not directly related to chromosome reproduction during the process of mitosis and cytokinesis. 

The data used in the virtual experiment portion of this unit come from the Allen Cell Explorer, an open data set featuring tens of thousands of research-grade cell images. Students will learn about one kind of data collected in research settings and begin learning how it can be used.


The lesson also directs students to the Visual Guide to Human Cells, an interactive resource developed specifically for students that explores and explains the functions of cell structures.

The full lesson plan includes learning objectives, Next Generation Science Standards and Advanced Placement alignments, a teacher guide, suggested timing, and lesson materials.

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