Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cells are Everything

This is a reflection of my cells experiment in Science:

Here are a variety of images that I took. You can see some of my pre-lab experiments, my drawings of the cells, and a picture of the microscope zooms and me.

I used to think that cells were just part of your body. I knew what blood cells were, but I never knew that plants had cells too, or foods. Now I know that everything is made up of cells. I know that cells are really small particles that move around. In an Elodea leaf, there are a couple cells in a "brick" form. The "walls" around the cells are called cell walls, then there is another layer called the the cell membrane. The chloroplast, is something in the cells. The cell movement, is called cytoplasmic streaming.


The Elodea leaf experiment was my first experiment with cells. It was amazing what I saw through the oculos. I think that I learned a lot from this experiment.When this experiment was over, I was pretty excited to start the next one! :)

First what we did is we got the slides ready. To do that, we got the small leaf, and put it in the centre of the longest slide, then added a drop of water to it. Then we put the smaller slide right on top of it. We then carefully put it on the stage of the microscope. We adjusted the stage, so that we had a clear view of the leaf, and used the different zooms and drew out what we saw. After everybody had drawn their findings, as a class we labeled everything. Then, we added a drop of iodine to the plant, and tried to find the nucleus under the microscope.

This experiment was fun because we got to look at something with a 100x view! Which is actually 1000x! It was amazing to see the cells and with the iodine the nucleus.
The frustrating part was when we had to draw what we saw, because you wanted to be as precise as possible and sometimes that was pretty hard. You had to look, then draw, look, then draw. Also, I'm not really the best drawer!

Overall, the Elodea leaf experiment was really fun!


In this experiment, I used an onion cell and observed that under the microscope. It was pretty cool because what you could see when it was under the microscope was amazing. You can't really describe how it looked like, you'd have to do it for yourself to find out!
Just like any other experiment, you had to get everything ready. To do that, my group and I first prepared the slide. From ms. Pro, we got a single onion cell. We super carefully put it in the middle of the slide and added one drop of iodine to it. The we put on the other slide right on top of it, and then put it under the microscope. By adjusting the stage, the different zooms and the focus, we observed the cells, the chloroplasts and the nucleus. We drew out all our different findings, and labeled the different parts.

This experiment was fun because I got to see and observe something I would never see in my daily life. Also, I've never before done anything we cells, so this was a cool way for me to find out how these microscopic things work.
The frustrating part was when we had to label the different parts because I didn't always know what everything was, and I found it a little hard to find the nucleus because I couldn't see it, and I didn't know how it looked like until ms. Pro had showed me the nucleus through the microscope!

This experiment was awesome! I'd recommend it to anybody to do!


I have to say this was the scariest experiment of all. When ms. Pro had told us you had to take out part of your cheek, the class kind of freaked out. Though when she showed us how to take out your cells, we all calmed down, because it was a lot less scary than we had thought. 

First thing you had to do, was take out your slide, and put a drop of iodine in the center. Then you had to grab a toothpick, and very carefully you had to pick a spot somewhere near to the front (for us, ms. Pro had showed us where to start and she showed us how to "take out" the cells. You had to draw circles, sort of. Ms. Pro called it 'stirring', because you are kind out stirring. You had to stir for a short 5 minutes, till you felt that you had enough cells on your toothpick. When you stir in your mouth, you are breaking up the cells that are layered in your mouth. Since you are stirring the whole time, the cells come on to your toothpick. Once they were on your toothpick you had to stir them onto your slide into the drop of iodine. Then you would place the slide on the stage and adjust it till you could see the cells.

This experiment was fun because I got to see my own cells! Though since the image wasn't as clear through the microscope, I drew the images that were projected on the big screen. Those cells were ms. Pros.
The frustrating part was when we had to take out the cells. Once you stopped stirring in your mouth, there was a tingling feeling that stayed for a little while! I'm very ticklish, so it was kind of annoying, but fun at the same time! Also when you were trying to break the cells in your mouth, because you always moved the toothpick just a little bit and it was hard (for me) to pick up the cells with the toothpick.


Here are some questions that I answered after the experiment. Before I did the experiment, I couldn't at all answer these questions. :

1. What are some similarities between the three cell types (Elodea leaf, Onion, and Cheek cells)?
All three types of cells had a nucleus. They became more visible with iodine. They all have cell membrane. 

2. What are the specific jobs of the cell parts found in the three cell types (remember to name the cell parts)?
The cell membrane/cell wall protects the cells. The nucleus wall protects the nucleus. 

3. Name some cell parts that are unique to any of the three cell samples and their possible job.
The chloroplast is found in the Elodea leaf. They make the plants green and they store food. 

4. How can we tell whether the cell can perform photosynthesis or not?
We can tell if a plant or cell can perform photosynthesis by looking and seeing if the cell has chloroplasts. 

5. Which of the three cell types perform photosynthesis? Justify your answer.
The Elodea leaf can perform photosynthesis because we found chloroplasts in the cells. 

6. What is the cell part that is most conspicuous (=easy to see) in the onion cells and cheek cells? What is its function in the cell?
The most conspicuous part to see from the onion and cheek cells was the nucleus. The nucleus is the "brain of the cell." It controls all the different parts. 

7. What cell part is the most conspicuous (=easy to see) in the Elodea cells? What is its function in the Elodea cell?
The most conspicuous part of the Elodea leaf were the chloroplasts. The chloroplasts store food and they make the plast green. If a plant has chloroplasts, then the plant can perform photosynthesis. Without the chloroplasts it wouldn't be able to perform photosynthesis. 

Questions I still Have!

• What happens when an Elodea cell goes to an Onion cell? Is it bad or does it not matter?

Sunday, March 16, 2014


 If the government tries to control it's citizens, no one is allowed to stand-up for themselves. In the city of ember, on page 12-13 it's assignment day, and Doon doesn't like the Job he got. 
'Unfolding the paper, Doon read: "Messenger." He scowled, crumpled the paper, and dashed it to the floor... ..."The blackouts!" cried Doon. He jumped from his seat. "The lights go out all the time now! And the shortages, there's shortages of everything! If no one does anything about it, something terrible is going to happen!"' In this part, Doon is shouting at the mayor. He's talking about that he dislikes the mayor's/governments methods of doing things, and that what they are doing in affecting the city because of shortages of resources. The mayor then argues that students have to be happy to work for Ember. Next, on page 37-38, Lina was delivering a message to the Mayor, form Looper. While she was waiting for the mayor to arrive, she found a stairway to the roof. While Lina was up there, a lot of people gathered from down below, stopping to watch. Then suddenly the chief guard comes in. 
' "Halt!" he shouted, though she wasn't going anywhere. He grabbed her by the arm. "What are you doing here?" "I was just curious," said Lina, in her most innocent voice. "I wanted to see the city from the roof..." "Curiosity leads to trouble..."' Then continuing on to page 38, the guard has brought Lina back down and explained to the mayor what she has done. He'd suggested the prison room already, though luckily the message that Lina was supposed to deliver, saved her from the prison room. Here, Lina was nearly sentenced to a couple days in 'prison', though luckily her message saved her. Lina tried standing up for herself, and used a sweet and innocent voice to try to help her out, but it didn't work. She said she was just curious. In Ember, curiosity is denied as much as possible. Even the guard said so, "Curiosity leads to trouble." Though if it weren't for Lina and Doon being curious, then they wouldn't have found a way out of Ember. Lastly, pages 205 and 217 -219, show that you can't stand up for your self when the government is too controlling, because it will lead you too consequences. On page 205, Lina and Doon see a sign, that reads: "Doon Harrow and Lina Mayfleet wanted for spreading vicious rumours. If you see them, report to mayor's chief guard. Believe nothing they say. Reward." This part is about when Lina and Doon had reported to the guards that the mayor had a supply closet with so much resources. Then, when Lina and Doon wanted to go to the pipeworks, to escape Ember, Lina got caught by the guards and taken to the mayor (pages 217-219). There, the mayor had help a long speech. "I'm not surprised.... for their benefit. For their own good." Then Lina replies: "Hogwash." Hogwash is another word for nonsense. The mayor then gets super angry, and starts talking about the prison room. How it would be good if she spent a few days there. The mayor was looking for a bell on his desk that would summon the guards, who would then have escorted her to the prison room. Suddenly, the lights go out and Lina luckily escapes. Lina was lucky to escape here, because then when she escapes, she makes her way to the pipeworks, and escapes Ember with Doon and Poppy. 

BLUE : Textual Evidence
RED : Explanation
PURPLE : Claim

City of Ember Reflection
I used to think…

All the way back in the first chapter of the story, I thought this book was set in the future. I thought it was in a total different glaxay, and would have nothing related to the world we live in now. Since Ember was/is running out of resources, I thought that maybe if this was set in the future, that then the limited resources we use today would run out and there would be nothing made up of non-limited resources. Things like gas, oil, and non-limited electricity are going to run out at some point, and because I know that this will happen, I thought that Jeanne DuPrau would write about what it might be like when the time comes.

Now I think…

Now, since I've finished the City of Ember, I know that Ember is underground, definitely not in another galaxy, but I also know more general themes that Ember could be/is about. It’s about curiosity and government control. In Ember, the government holds curiosity back. The mayor himself doesn't like curiosity because when people like Lina and Doon become curious and go and explore, they find out things like the mayor’s little room with all the extra resources, or they could find out things like the way out of ember. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ember + Curiosity = Not Good.

Discussion Question 2:
Do you think that Ember is a city that encourages curiosity in its residents? Why or why not? Does this ultimately help or hurt the city? Use evidence from the text to support your thinking.

I claim that ember is a city that definately not encourages people to be curious and because of that it can hurt the city. I believe this because on page 217 Lina got caught by the guards, and got sent to the mayor's office. The way he was talking to her and what he was saying shows that he doesn't like what Lina is doing and that she is being curious. He said on page 217: "Curiosity... a dangerous quality. Unhealthy. Especially regrettable in one so young... ...Ember, as you know, is in a time of difficulty. Extraordinary measures are necessary. This is a time when citizens should be most loyal. Most law-abiding. For the good of all." Here he is talking about why being curious is a bad thing. The people of ember have to be "law-abiding." They have to be "loyal." They can't do anything that would break the law. They can't be curious to figure things out, because the mayor says so. Also, continuing on to page 218, they mayor is still talking with Lina. They way he is talking, makes it sound like he has something to hide. "The duties of a mayor, are...complex. Cannot be understood by regular citizens, particularly children. That is why..., certain things much remain hidden from the public. The public would not understand. The public must have faith, that all is being done for their benefit. For their own good." This part makes it sound like he is hiding something. This makes me wonder if he is talking about the small room with all the supplies. The mayor doesn't know that Lina knows about that. Another part in the story, much earlier, also shows that it can hurt the city, or citizens. Next, part of my claim states that because Ember is not letting their citizens be curious that it can hurt the city. On pages 63-65, a man named Sage Merrall, comes panting back from the darkness. "...was sure I could do it. I said to myself, Just one step after another, that's all, one step after another I knew it would be dark Who doesn't know that? But I though, Well, dark can't hurt you, I'll just keep going, I though..." This man went into the unknown regions. He came back, scared, panting, with the idea that whatever was out there, would hurt him or kill him. Also, if Lina and Doon hadn't discovered the way out of Ember, they'd still be stuck in Ember, with resources running out and a very greedy mayor. Lina and Doon first discovered the instructions (93), then when they figured out what it meant, they started looking for the E scribbled on stone by the river's edge(180). They immediately go to the pipe works, and discover the ladder (182), and then soon figured out about the little room with the boat, the candles and the matches (187-189)

BLUE = Explanation, questions, connections
RED = Textual Evidence
PURPLE = Claim

Monday, March 10, 2014


To the left are my other group members, Claudia Nanez and Tashi Guarda.

My science fair project was about what happens when you drop different flavoured mentos in coke and why. We tested this experiment, with 3 different flavoured mentos. We used mint, mixed fruit, and licorice. We dropped three of the same flavoured mentos in diet coke and then we watched and observed the reaction.

I learned that the more syrup is in the mentos to create the flavour, the more the pores on the surface of the mentos get clogged up, and so block the carbon dioxide from the coke flow through and create a reaction that wouldn't be as big. Mentos and coke is a physical reaction having to do with the pores on the surface of the mentos. I've learned that, even though everyone says mint gives a higher bomb, it actually doesn't. Mint has a lot of syrups in it to give it a fresher and stronger taste. Because of that the mint mentos don't give out the higher "explosions". Mint gave the lowest "explosions".

I wanted to this, and this is also how we did it, use different sources and websites to give us more knowledge. We wanted to experiment the flavours of course and we wanted to predict before we let the mentos drop into the coke.

A question I'm still wondering about is, if the type of fizz drink matters when you drop mentos in the coke. It would have to be a different experiment.

The most difficult and frustrating part of the whole process was the researching stage, because there were all these different websites, but you never knew if they were true or not, and when you typed in "coke and mentos" for example, it would come up different documentaries people made of them doing and experiment. We had to look hard and make sure that whatever the website was saying was true and if it made sense. We tried looking for books, but we couldn't find anything on coke and mentos and why it explodes and all.

The most enjoyable part of the science fair was the experimentation part, because it was really fun to go with my group down to the field, and look at the coke explode! It was pretty enjoyable and fun to do the experiments.

A project I really liked was in a 7th grade classroom, there was a group who did their project on kites, and which size kite worked the best. I really liked this one because it was really original, and their findings and research really backed up what they were talking about. They were really prepared and organized to talk to me when I came to their stand.

A challenge my group faced was the topic itself. We had a small disagreement about what the topic should be. Also, we never really discussed what we would do and why and how we would would do it. Once we came up with the coke and mentos, something we all liked, we worked really hard to catch up with the rest of the class. During class time, we finished the researching, and we all worked a little at home. We decided altogether who was to bring what for the experiments and then we all co-operated. We communicated much more. In the end, everything worked out! :)

If I could change something I did in the science fair presentation I could have talked a little slower. I saw afterwards in the form that the audience filled out, someone had put down that: "Rosanne had to talk a little slower." So next time I'm going to present I think that that is something I could think about. This feedback will be handy in the future because then I could have a little "advice" before I go up.

This science fair I worked in a group. I would chose it again, because the work gets done faster. But it would be nice to work alone maybe also because then you get to chose how you want everything to look like and all. With a group there is much more deciding to do.