exercises for high school students

Anthony G Moss mossant at mail.auburn.edu
Tue Jun 21 09:12:24 EST 1994

When I was in Shrewsbury in the local high school "mentor" program run by 
Sandy Mayrand at WFEB, I made a miniphototaxis chamber by rigging up a 
couple of batteries and two type 222 light bulbs and an on/off switch and 
polarity changing switch so I could drive Chlamys wild swimming back and 
forth on slides.  It's very easy to do; just hot-glue the bulbs to either 
end of a standard microscope slide and solder the wires directly to the 
bulbs (not in that order!) and arrange the wiring so that you could 
direct three volts to either bulb, and of course turn it off.  Then 
get a red filter to cover the field stop on the scope, and cover the 
microscope with heavy black bags to block out all light except of course 
what the battery-pwoered lamps produce.  The cells swim in a thick 
preparation with coverslip standoffs so they have room to swim and can 
get plenty of light.  All of about 1/2hr effort.  It works 
amazingly well and the kids get a kick  out of it.  I use it here in Alabama 
as part of the "Science Olympiad" program that draws high schoolers into the 
university to take a sort of intellectual marathon of lab exercises and
 projects, etc.  It works well in that atmosphere too ("what are the cells
 doing?'  Do they change behavior as you progressively give them more light 
stimuli; what happens if you pulse the light; try to cover the lamps 
with different filters", etc, etc.)

Tony Moss
Auburn University

On 20 Jun 1994 chlamy at acpub.duke.edu wrote:

> Bill Snell is interested in experiments that can be done with Chlamydomonas
> in a high school laboratory (low budget, minimal equipment, no
> health/safety hazards).  I've offered to compile as many ideas as people
> can come up with, and put them on the gopher server.  Any suggestions?  I
> enclose part of Bill's letter to me:
> >I have a high school biology teacher/football coach working in my lab this 
> >summer.  We've talked about possible ways to incorporate Chlamy into his 
> >classroom.  Do you have any suggestions 
> >about exercises for high school students.  Also, do you know of a way to stain 
> >cells so that their flagella can be seen in a bright field microscope.  Our teacher tells me that he thinks most high schools will not have a phase 
> >contrast microscope.  We might be able to see them with iodine, but because 
> >iodine can sublimate, I'm not sure it would be a good idea to have it sitting 
> >around a high school lab.  Any suggestions or ideas from you will be welcomed.
> Elizabeth Harris
> chlamy at acpub.duke.edu

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