5 Creative Ways to Teach Students Counting Cells that Keeps Them Engaged

Akanksha Saxena

Cells are the foundation of all life, and understanding their behavior is essential to many scientific fields. Cells are also used as a primary model to test the effects of drugs and chemicals. Counting cells is a crucial part of this process, as it allows researchers to monitor changes and assess the impact of different interventions. 

Though cell counting is a critical skill to master, students are often overwhelmed by its intricacies. On top of that, educators feel the heat because of the lack of instruments and required tools. To overcome all of these hurdles, we have compiled 5 creative ways that educators can employ in their next sessions to make the topic of counting cells an interesting one. 

1. Use Interactive Models and Simulations

Interactive models and simulations provide a safe, low-risk environment where students can explore the complexities of cell counting without the risk of making mistakes or causing harm to living organisms. These tools provide a virtual environment that helps students in fostering critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

The finest merit of using interactive virtual simulation like the one provided by Labster- “Cell Counting Simulation” is that it overcomes the lack of funding and unavailability of lab infrastructure for such experiments in most developing countries. This helps in bringing equity to education.

Counting cell virtual lab setip, looking at human cell lines in incubator.

Interactive Simulations can be highly productive for teaching about cell counting as they:

  • Familiarize students with lab equipment (hemocytometer).
  • Reinforce key concepts of counting cells accurately.
  • Provide real-time feedback to students for virtual lab assignments. 

2. Learning with Games and Activities

Games and activities can be highly effective in designing lesson plans for educators on the topic of cell counting. By incorporating physical and virtual games, educators can create a more engaging and interactive learning experience for their students. 

Some examples of how different types of games can be used are the Cell counting relay race (where teams race to count a certain number of cells using a hemocytometer) and the Cell counting scavenger hunt (students count the number of cells in each image after finding them from secret hidden spots). This approach can help students develop a deeper understanding of cell counting while also fostering teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

3. Infusing Technology into Study Plans

By infusing technology into study plans, educators can create an immersive learning experience for their students. Some of the recommended ways to use technological advancements in delivering learner-fit content are:

  • Use of educational apps and software (CellExplorer or ImageJ). 
  • Use of interactive whiteboards or tablets (for presentations and quizzes). 
  • Use of virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) to allow students to explore the microscopic world of cells.
  • Use of Labster’s Virtual Lab where students can count the cells as they investigate the effect of a novel drug on them. 


Counting cells virtual lab
Discover Labster's Cell Counting virtual lab today!

4. Inspiring Learners by Connecting to Career Prospects

Connecting the study of cell counting to real-world career prospects can be a great way to inspire students in their learning. Some of the career lines where this technique is monumental are:

  • Medical research: An expert talk by a medical professional about their work and how cell counting is used in medical research could be beneficial. In the unavailability of medical experts, educators can rely on Labster’s Cell Counting Simulation where a similar case is discussed. 
  • Environmental Science: For monitoring water quality or assessing the health of ecosystems. 
  • Biotechnology: For the development of new products like vaccines or genetically modified organisms.  

5. Connecting the Topic to Real-World Applications

Connecting the topic of cell counting to its real-world applications can make it more lucrative to learn for students. You can quote different applications across fields.

  1. Healthcare: Pathological tests, blood tests  
  2. Industrial: Vaccine development, GMOs  
  3. Environmental: Environmental monitoring, water quality. 
  4. QA/QC: Food safety and quality. 
  5. Research: In agricultural research (counting soil microbial cells)

Final thoughts

Cell counting is not just a technical skill but a window to the world of cellular biology. By mastering the art of cell counting, students can embark on a journey that leads to discoveries, groundbreaking research, and innovative technologies. Whether it's working in a hospital, a research laboratory, or a biotech company, cell counting is an indispensable tool that can open doors to exciting career opportunities. 

As educators, the responsibility to make the topic of cell counting interesting, accessible, and engaging to students is huge. And Labster salutes all educators who take on the challenge with a smile! With Labster’s Cell Counting Simulation, we hope that educators can have easy access to ways that help them design prolific lesson plans on the subject.

Try our free 30-day All Access Educator's Pass today and play the Cell Counting simulation alongside 300+ other virtual labs!
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