Mitosis & Meiosis

Welcome back to the latest scimatics project, where once again I have two similar words of which I know nothing about. This time those words are mitosis and meiosis, so let’s go on a journey to figure out what that is. 

To start off as always we made a Mindmap to see our knowledge at the beginning and end of the project.

  • Knowledge before the project

Questioning and Predicting

After which, the first concept we learned about was mitosis. We gained most of our knowledge through textbook and workbook pages, as well as a few Khan academy tests. Altogether it made for some good knowledge building and I made sure to get as much of it done in class to lessen the amount of homework I would have. 

Using our new found knowledge of the processes of mitosis and meiosis, it was time to recreate them, but this time in 3D! Using Tinkercad, a free 3D modelling software that we last used in the project Ultimate Design Challenge, our task was to recreate mitosis and meiosis in 3D models. 

The most interesting part of this project was the lab that we did. It consisted of growing garlic plants so we could observe the root tips of the plant, as this would be where mitosis would be happening. We would then put the tips through a procedure where we would dye it blue with methylene blue stain. After which we could put the roots underneath a microscope, and hopefully get a few good pictures.

Once again, Tinkercad was a struggle to use but with the previous practice, it wasn’t hard to pick back up again. During this time, my model designs changed quite drastically. My first attempt at recreating a cell led to a design that was just a 2D model but extruded outwards. I wanted to really utilize the fact that we were creating 3D models that we could look at from any direction, which led to draft two. Draft two was a lot like draft one, except that I tried to make some of the features pop out more, and move things off of the same central axis. After this however, I still wasn’t satisfied, and attempt 3 led to my final design, where I scrapped the one axis design all together, in favour of a round oval-ish sphere thingy. This way the entire thing can be 3D and be interesting to look at from all angles. 

The other challenge with the models was making sure they were scientifically accurate. I ended up looking at a variety of different sources and referring back to the textbook many times to make sure I didn’t include any incorrect information.

Planning and Conducting

After we had studied all about mitosis, it was time to look at the real deal. For the next milestone, we had to grow some garlic, then take pictures of the actual cells going through the process of mitosis.

This was our first pretty intensive lab/experiment that we have done in scimatics, and it was a really enjoyable experience. I managed to get quite a few good photos, which was challenging as the procedure had a lot of room for error and on multiple tries it was hard to clearly see the cells. Unfortunately none of us managed to get good enough pictures that confidently show each stage of mitosis, so we would go back and use pre-made mitosis slides to get the rest of the images. Although, there was something lacking using the pre-made slides over preparing your own. Knowing where the cells came from exactly and seeing the life from something as simple as a garlic root was truly mesmerizing.

Scientific Communication

Finally it was time to put it all together into a final animated video with voice overs. Overall there isn’t much to talk about here as we’ve already made many videos in scimatics already. The couple things to note was using the picture and picture feature that we learned from our latest maker project to easily add the pictures over the videos. As well as trying to keep the video as concise as possible. This was the longest video I’ve made in scimatics because of how much information there was to cover. Trying to get all the points across while keeping it interesting and short was a real challenge. 

You can watch the final video here:

Overall this project went pretty smoothly, with seeing the cells up close as the highlight, as well as the video which turned out pretty well.

See you next time,


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