Bacon, Phenix elementary students learn about cells
Published 7:38 am Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Fifth graders at Bacon District and Phenix Elementary schools have been studying cells in their classroom. To bridge the learning experience during library time, the students have been doing a simple research project about the types of cells and cell parts.
Allyson Watkins, the librarian, asked “the cell expert,” Billy Catron, a retired biology teacher at Randolph-Henry High School, to come and talk with each fifth grade class about cells.
Catron transformed the libraries into science labs. After a PowerPoint presentation about cells, Watkins divided the class into small groups. Then Catron had the students rotate among seven stations to view different types of cells with microscopes.
The students had to draw what they saw. As they were rotating, Catron would go to each group to determine from their drawings if they were actually seeing the particular type of cell.
After the rotations were complete, Catron asked the groups to identify whether the cell was an animal or plant cell or a protist.
He told them that he actually did this with his high school students when he taught at R-H.
“This was such a valuable experience for our students,” said Watkins. “Not only did they get to use high-powered microscopes, they got to hear about cells from an expert. It is always meaningful when the students get exposure to school curriculum from people in the community.”