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Learning Cell Biology Basics using a Virtual Microscope

Author Information

  • Name: Sarah Wolfe
  • Position and Institution: Postdoctoral Fellow Scripps Research
  • Contact:
  • Available for contact for questions and classroom visits: Yes
  • Year contributed: 2020


  • Grade Level: 6-8
  • Science Domain: Life Sciences
  • PE Code: MS-LS1-1


Using a Virtual Microscope students will be able to explore the basic structure and function of cells, as well as the differences between cell types. Students will start by learning the basics of light microscopy through the tutorials provided in the virtual microscope program. They can learn the importance and use of microscopy to study cell biology, and through this technique explore a variety of specialized cells by examining the slides and samples in the program. Through their exploration they will catalog what they observe including basic structures. Next, they will examine cells from different taxonomies and compare the similarities and differences between Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic cells, as well as explore the similarities and differences among plants, animals, and bacteria. Lastly, students can test their knowledge by attempting to classify mystery microscopy images form the image galleries provided based on their observations. This lesson plan will hopefully provide an engaging and explorative opportunity that can be done entirely on the computer and with social distancing.


  • Eukaryotic
  • Prokaryotic
  • Cell types
  • Microscopy
  • Organelles
  • Unicellular
  • Multicellular


sandiego/learning_cell_biology_basics_using_a_virtual_microscope.txt · Last modified: 2020/11/01 11:38 (external edit)