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Magnifying and Observing Cells

Author(s): Barbara Tharp, MS, and Nancy Moreno, PhD

Making a Wet Mount Slide

Have students follow these simple instructions to create wet mounts (temporary slides in which the material to be observed is placed on a drop of water and covered with a cover slip). You may want to provide iodine or methylene blue stain for students to use to make cell structures more easily visible.


Iodine and methylene blue are toxic if ingested. Some people are allergic to iodine. Be certain to read the Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), which should be available in the classroom during the activity. 

Iodine and methylene blue will stain the skin, but will gradually wash off. Both solutions will permanently stain clothing and some table surfaces.

Funded by the following grant(s)

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Grant Number: 5R25RR018605