High-energy third graders rotated through stations in the science lab, examining the parts of a flower under microscopes.
The lab was part of a science unit on plants that students eagerly anticipate each year.
“The students study the parts of a plant, the life cycle of a plant, and photosynthesis,” said third-grade teacher Mrs. Anonda Nepa. “We talk about how God created this perfect balance where plants take in carbon dioxide and then expel oxygen, which is what humans need to survive.”
Parent volunteers set up the lab. “They dissected the flowers and took cross sections of the stem, stamen, ovule, petal, and pistil to place in a microscope slide,” Nepa said.
Students worked in teams of two, rotating through the stations. “There were two microscopes for each part of the flower, which were labeled accordingly, and the class rotated around to view the different parts,” said Nepa.
Each third-grade class had 30 minutes to complete the stations. At each station, students viewed the flower part under the microscope, drew a picture of what they saw, and wrote a brief description. “This looks like a hairy fish,” said Briggs, examining a stamen slide. After viewing a pistil, Sawyer said, “This looks like a jellyfish!”
“It was thrilling for our third graders to be in the high school lab,” Nepa said. “They were amazed at the details they could see on the flower parts, like the amount of pollen on the stamen, the fuzzy texture and water droplets on the stem, or the seeds forming in the ovule.”