Science Project:

A Study of Blood Cells

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The goals of this project are:

  1. To learn about blood cells.
  2. To create a colorful, informative display that illustrates the properties of blood cells.

Research Questions:

  • What are the different types of blood cells?
  • What are the functions of blood cells?
  • How do we study blood cells?

Whole blood is made of three kinds of blood cells, suspended in a fluid called plasma. In this project you will study the different types of blood cells under a microscope, illustrate the functions of these cells, and learn how cells react on contact with various substances.

Materials:

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Color printer
  • Digital camera
  • Microscope, slides, cover slips and solutions
  • Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.).

Experimental Procedure

  1. Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below).
  2. Address all of the terms and research questions mentioned here.
  3. Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
  4. Take photographs throughout the course of the experiment.
  5. Prepare slides using tiny slivers of fresh raw beef or chicken bone marrow.
  6. Study the slides under a microscope and identify the different types of blood cells.
  7. Prepare a several more slides, adding tiny amounts of various substances to each sample. Substances may include salt, sugar, vinegar, wine, oil, food coloring or anything else you might find around your kitchen. Use your imagination.
  8. Observe the reaction of the blood cells to these substances.
  9. Write a detailed report.
  10. Include photos, diagrams, artwork and samples in your science fair display.

Terms/Concepts: Centrifuge; Platelets; Red blood cells; White blood cells

References:

Author: Judee Shipman
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