Ah yes, “Life’s Greatest Miracle.”

At first glance, I’d guess that this “miracle” would be ice cream, cheesecake, or even a warm cookie by the fireplace. Practically anything food related. 

BUT NO- It’s babies… which is acceptable, because they are adorable little gremlins. I have two little brothers myself, and they are the cutest things I’ve ever seen (when they’re not pulling my hair or stealing my stuff.)

However, chaos would soon ensue, since this is a grade 9 classroom full of immature adolescents after all (including me). 

…Anyways, it was time to understand “Life’s Greatest Miracle”… Reproduction.

Going into this project, I kinda knew what to expect, BUT I didn’t know we were going to learn about asexual reproduction as well (which I really should’ve seen coming.) We’d return to the concept of cells, and observe reproduction at a more “microscopic” level…

Meaning working with microscopes… which was tricky, since I’ve hated them ever since I got one for my birthday as a child and it DID NOT WORK AT ALL. I was so sad…

To show this understanding, we’d have to create a video presenting our own 3d models of each stage of mitosis and meiosis. Meaning, I’d have to open Tinkercad again. I’ve had some experience with the application (a scimatics project from last year) and I thought I’d never need to touch it again. 

Welp, life doesn’t tend to go according to plan.

With that out of the way, let’s dive into it!

As I briefly mentioned earlier, we were bound to learn about Life’s Greatest Miracle™. What better way than to watch a documentary narrated by Lord Farquaad himself. It was an interesting watch and I enjoyed learning about the scientific aspect. I’m not usually squeamish when it comes to these kind of things, so honestly, it wasn’t that bad.  

Apparently, they did not censor the birthing process in the original, but the version we watched did. I’d say that was the true miracle. 

Next, as with all Scimatics projects, we completed a mindmap. At the end of the project, we’d then return to it and add to our prior knowledge. I’ll admit, biology isn’t my specialty. I’m much more of a geologist or a palaeontologist. I wrote a book when I was 5 and I spelled everything wrong (“dianosaors arr tarible lisards” “dinosars did not beild ligo” “t-rexes arr not leif eaters, they arr meet eaters”)

Anyways, here’s my mindmap:


We would also grow our own garlic bulbs for our microscopic images later on. Unfortunately, I was away on a doctor’s appointment when we planted our garlic, so my friend Sabrina, had to take care of Alfred Jr for me. I am such a terrible parent, I wasn’t even there for the planting of the smol child 🙁 

Reminder, DO NOT be like me and write blog posts the night before they’re due. To be fair, it was my birthday and I was knocked off schedule. BUT it’s a horrible life choice and it makes you write questionable things anyway. Luckily, I’ve mastered the art of being funny, so it makes up for it. 

And yes, I better be funny… or else I’m just delusional. 

Speaking of delusional, I thought I understood reproduction, BUT I WAS WRONG. It was more complicated than I believed. However, this is PLP and we live by the power of growth mindset.  What better way to improve my understanding than by reading textbooks? 

I bet I could name a lot of ways, but that’s besides the point. Textbooks aren’t that bad, and they’re a lot easier to reference than my hopeless note taking skills. 

With our newfound knowledge, we were able to test it by returning to Khan Academy. Ouch, that name gives me grade 6 flashbacks. This allowed me to standardize my understanding, and attempt to improve in areas where I was lacking. 

At first, I found it very hard (since the terms were a bit confusing). After awhile, I was able to watch a couple videos and ace the quizzes. I will admit, the Khan Academy dude’s voice is asmr, and I’ve caught myself dozing off to it. 

With that out of the way, we were able to get a start on our models. We had to create the cell cycles of both Mitosis and Meiosis. We did it one at a time to avoid confusion, because I swear, I’ve gotten the names mixed up too many times to count. 

Tinkercad is the most finicky thing I’ve ever dealt with. Ok, that was a lie. I’ve seen worse (aka “Clips” and “the Animal Jam Paint Studio when you’re a 7 year old.”) 

However, it wasn’t as bad this time around. I figured some stuff out so that it wouldn’t take an ETERNITY to get this done. Looking back, the spindle fibres in Mitosis are looking a bit chunky, but I’m happy it’s over with. 

By now, Alfred Jr has grown and become slightly rootier Alfred Jr. We were now able to view mitosis in the plant’s roots with a microscope. With my lab partner, Sabrina, we attempted to take pictures of these processes. 

Due to my previous antagonism towards microscopes, I don’t think ours liked us very much. If you didn’t know already, microscopes are wild and unpredictable creatures. 

They can sense fear. 

…Although our pictures were great at our first attempt, I don’t think they captured mitosis. 

The second try, our microscope did some funky stuff and our images were kinda blurry. It also didn’t capture mitosis. 

In the end, we had to try a third time with some pre-made slides. I am not exactly what they are, but they show mitosis just fine. Our microscope still did some weird stuff, so we had to borrow some images from Ariane and Fraser just in case. 

Here’s the cells!

Finally, we created our videos. I tried to get some cool footage of my 3d models, so I took some extra time to make the mitosis stages spin. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time (nor energy) to do this for the meiosis cells, but that’s ok. 

If you didn’t watch it at the beginning of this blog post >:(

…then you can click on it here:

I’ll admit, it’s not the most entertaining thing I’ve made, but I decided to prioritize sleeping before 3am. Looking back, it’s not as bad as I thought I’d turn out! I even managed to bare through watching it with the rest of my class! I’m happy with the level of understanding I’ve gained, and I’m excited to move on.

Questioning and Predicting

To gain an understanding of this competency, I had to manage my time well (aka hand things in on time and focus during class). I believe that I’ve achieved an accomplished understanding. 

Usually, this is the most boring competency (since we’ve had it in almost every project and I practically say the same thing), but now it’s different. This is the most strange occurrence. I normally write weird filler for this competency, but now I have the opportunity to write something thoughtful.

I didn’t hand something in on time. 

Yeah, you heard that right. I was sick and felt absolutely horrible, so I had a lot to catch up on. I was a little behind from the start, so catching up wasn’t easy. Luckily I managed to hand everything else in on time… BUT THE KHAN ACADEMY SCORES. They took a little longer than expected, so I was unable to hand it in 🙁

In the end, I’ve learned that I could have organized my time better. Maybe next time, I’ll manage my time better. 

Planning and Conducting

Before I start, I’d like to say accomplished for effort. This competency was about the lab portion of this project (aka the evil microscopes.)

Yes, obviously we had some technical difficulties, but isn’t that what PLP is all about? Our microscope was doing funky things, but we kept going. In the end, we managed to take pictures and I think they’re pretty cool. 

In terms of learning, I believe this portion was very interesting. Seeing a snapshot of mitosis in action really helped me to see an example of the science occurring in real life. It allowed me to realize that this is truly happening everywhere! I don’t know if that’s just me, but I think it’s breathtaking. 

Looking back, I think it was enlightening to look through the microscopes (even if they do hate me). 

Scientific Communication

I’ll admit, I’m terrible at evaluating myself, BUT I think I’ve extended in this competency. I believe I’ve demonstrated all the required criteria for the video, and I’ve added my own personal flare (with camera angles, title slides, and stock images).


Although I do realize, I’ve definitely made a couple of factual mistakes, I believe I’ve tremendously improved my understanding of the subject. Going into this, I had no idea what mitosis or meiosis was or how to differ between the two. Now I can name the similarities and differences with ease. 

If I were to create this video again, I’d try to make it more entertaining (since that’s a main point for me as a wannabe filmmaker.) I feel like mine would definitely benefit with a couple of jokes here and there. 

In conclusion, I’m proud of the work I’ve done, and I believe I’ve hit the criteria. 

“How is the reproduction of cells essential to the survival of organisms?”

It’s quite simple actually. We are not immortal creatures, and so is most of the known planet. Without immortality, we need to find other ways to survive. We do this through passing down our genetics to the next generation. In our offspring, we confirm the survival of our species long after we’re gone. 

Without reproduction or some form of immortality, our species and many others would have no way to survive. If we didn’t have offspring, we’d be the last of our kind. If this were to occur, when we die, it would see the end of our species. 

Cell reproduction also happens daily. When we replace old cells, our body uses mitosis to create new ones. Without these processes, we’d die very quickly. 

In conclusion, it’s easy to see that reproduction is essential to the survival of many organisms. 

This was actually the fastest I’ve ever written a blog post. It didn’t take long at all! 

Anyways, I have to go back to mentally preparing myself for Kenobi this Friday.

The end of the year is approaching, and we’re nearing the end of grade 9 already! I swear, high school just started. I guess I’ll see you later then!