Counting stomata

Today I carried out a lab session with a Secondary 3 class. It was basically making epidermal peels from Aloe barbadensis, Tristellateia australasia and Ixora javensis and make observations on any differences between the species in terms of stomatal density. So the class go down to the school grounds to collect the plants themselves and taught them how to make those epidermal peels (some really got quite good at doing that). They were somehow quite surprised to discover actual stomata before their very eyes under 100x magnification. It was really nice to see some wonderment in their eyes. I was quite happy then for having designed that particular experiment and having spent 3 hrs a few days before going through quite a few species to check which could peel easily. Alas, I was humbled when a student looked a wincy bored and when I asked, said that he wanted more blood and gore, having had the pleasure of going through a goat’s heart the week before (ahh, I see he is not a botanist).

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One thought on “Counting stomata

  1. Good choice of plants. Bougainvillea does not peel that easy. I tried to get my students to draw proper cell diagrams as well, but not all responded with the enthusiasm I was hoping for.
    One of my missions, to teach proper biological drawings to anyone who is still interested. 🙂

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