Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Children's Discovery: Living World under the Microscope

Dr Abe V Rotor
 Living with Nature School on Blog []
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday
Oxygen bubbles cling on filamentous green alga, by-product of photosynthesis. Oxygen is either dissolved in water for fish, or released into the air for land animals, including man. Chlorophyll (green pigment of plants, algae and some monerans like BGA) catches the light energy of the sun, and with CO2, produces food and oxygen which are important to life.  This process is known as photosynthesis.  

Yeast cells actively divide in sugar substrate in fermentation resulting in the production of ethanol or wine, and CO2 as byproduct. When used in baking, the CO2 is trapped in the dough and causes it to rise and form leavened bread. Yeast (Saccharomyces) reproduces rapidly by vegetative means - budding.  Note newly formed buds, and young buds still clinging on mother cells. 

Protozoans are agents of decomposition, and live on organic debris.  In the process they convert it into detritus or organic matter and ultimately to its elemental composition which the next generation of plants and other life forms utilize. Protozoans or protists are one-celled organisms, having organelles which function like organs of higher animals. Protozoans live in colonies and in association with other living things as symbionts, commensals, and for the pathogenic forms, parasites.    

Epidermal cells of gabi (Colocasia esculenta) closely knitted and intertwined. Note large globules.  These are calcium oxalate encasements that cause itchiness when gabi is not well cooked. All living organisms are made up of cells. The more complex the organism is, the more diverse are its cells that make up the different  organs. Humans have trillions of cells, other than the huge population of micro flora and fauna that live inside and outside his body.   

Hands-on and on-site learning, coupled with enthusiasm and curiosity, produce valuable imprints during formative years of children. To many these imprints developed into a strong foundation in pursuit of careers and achievements.  What is most important though is the children's true understanding of nature, the primordial source of knowledge and skill - and happiness. Such experience supplies the missing ingredient of their growing up - reality - in a world of fantasy which they often encounter on TV and the computer, and our highly materialistic society. 
How can I describe the living world the naked eye can't see?
A drop of pond water with creatures unique like a mirth  
Imagining Mars some billions years ago cooling off and dying,
its inhabitants shrunken, camouflaged refugees on Earth.

A forest of algae, a mountain of a grain of sand, a sea in a drop, 
where these creatures belong - naive, grotesque and alien;
and no known pattern or model at hand will ever trace their origin;
in strange ways shunned, yet bring friendship to children.     

How small we are humans in the network of creation and vastness 
of the universe, yet we claim ourselves the dominant species, 
knowing so little the secrets of life itself, its processes and cycles
gleamed under the microscope just a dot of life's mysteries,
To us grownups we fear to tread into the mysterious, unknown,
we miss beauty by our strict inquisition, and train of theses;
let's make way for the adventurer, young and eager to enjoy  
the quaintness of life and creatures unleashed by the lens.    
Neighborhood children spend Sunday afternoon with the author.This is their third lesson - Basic microscopy, The Living World under the Microscope. Micro photography is part of their lesson with the use of ordinary digital camera and simple photo editing tools with the computer.

No comments: