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Onion Cells Lab


Onion Cells Lab

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This is the beginning of an inquiry lab to find the salt content of onion cells.  Throughout the lab, students will have a pre-investigation with water and a salt solution to demonstrate plasmolysis in plant cells.  Once they've had this initial data, they will come up with their own hypothese of what they think the salt concentration of an onion cell is, and will then develop an experiment to test their hypothesis.  By the end of the experiment, students will have discovered if their hypotheses... More
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Material Type: Simulation
Technical Format: HTML/Text
Date Added to MERLOT: November 13, 2011
Date Modified in MERLOT: July 02, 2012
Submitter: Julie Heintz
Keywords: cells, Biology


  • Reviewed by members of Editorial board for inclusion in MERLOT.
    Editor Review
    Very good quality; in queue to be peer reviewed
    avg: 5 rating
  • User review 4 average rating
  • User Rating: 4 user rating
  • Discussion (3 Comments)
  • Learning Exercises (none)
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Primary Audience: High School
Mobile Compatibility: Not specified at this time
Technical Requirements:
Language: English
Cost Involved: no
Source Code Available: no
Accessibility Information Available: yes
Creative Commons: Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States


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Discussion for Onion Cells Lab

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Avatar for Terra Kirsch
5 years ago

Terra Kirsch (Teacher (K-12))

This lesson applies investigation to an easy to grasp concept. What a great application using the scientific method and incorporation of math to a real world situation and brining the investigation into the lab. Incorporating web 2.0 tools to relate results is a nice way for students to collaborate and share information. I wonder if students could use a tutorial on how to add data tables to a blog and review positioning and captions.

Avatar for Tara Swanepoel
5 years ago

Tara Swanepoel (Teacher (K-12))

Great hands-on science lesson.  Conducting experiments is a great way to hold student interest.  The idea of posting the results to a blog is a great way for the students to practice technical or scientific writing.  It should also be a motivation to do their best since their audience will theoretically be the whole world.

I did wonder if the lab, perhaps, also focused on how salt solutions keep the roads from icing over.  It wasn't directly mentioned in the lesson plan, but it was alluded to in the section about motivation under the sub-heading "meaningfullness."


Technical Remarks:

No technical issues.

Time spent reviewing site: 10 minutes

Avatar for Denise Legghio
5 years ago

Denise Legghio (Teacher (K-12))

Great lab and wonderul use of the UDL principles.  You were able to create a hand-on lab experience while integrating technology!  I like the idea of giving the children a real world problem and allowing them to investigate it using another material (i.e. seeing the effects on plants by studying the onion).  I might suggest that you pair the stronger students with the struggling students as opposed to allowing them to choose their own groups, this is a lab that could benefit from teacher guided pairing.

Technical Remarks:

No technical difficulties encountered.

Time spent reviewing site: five minutes