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SEE FOR YOUR'CELL'F

Build a model of an animal cell

Suitable For

Grade 6

Difficulty

1

Time Required

 <2 Days

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

‘Cells’ are the basic building blocks of an animal’s body. These cellular building blocks are so tiny you would need about 10 000 just to cover a pinhead. There are a huge amount of different kinds of cells in an animal’s body, including nerve cells, skin cells, blood cells, bone cells, fat cells, muscle cells and many more. A cell is basically a little parcel of organic or ‘life’ chemicals within a thin membrane of protein and fat. The membrane holds the cell together, but lets nutrients in and waste out. In the science experiment, you will learn about living cells by building a model of an animal cell:

Topics covered

Cells, Membrane, DNA

What will I need?

  • FLAVOURED GELATINE DESERT MIX
  • PLASTIC ZIP-LOC BAGS
  • BOWL
  • GRAPE
  • PEANUTS
  • WHITE POSTER BOARD & MARKER
  • CAMERA

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

A cell is the most basic and smallest of building blocks in a living organisms’ body. All cells have a membrane that holds the cell together, but still lets nutrients in and waste out – this is represented by the plastic bag. Organelles are structures within cells that have specific functions, such as the nucleus or mitochondria. At the centre of the cell is the nucleus (the grape). This is the cell’s control centre and it contains the amazing molecule DNA.

DNA not only has all the instructions that the cell needs to function, but also has the pattern for new human life. The peanuts placed in the gelatine mould represent the mitochondria which are the power stations of the cell. In the mitochondria, food and oxygen combine to produce the energy needed for the cell to function. The gelatine or ‘cytoplasm’ is a clear jelly like material inside the membrane, in which all the ‘organelles’ are floating. These common parts of the cell all work together and are necessary for the functioning of the cell.

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