According to the Mad Scientist Network, a group of scientists who answer science questions on the Internet, there are approximately one hundred trillion cells in the human body. Each of these cells fills its own purpose in keeping the body working. Students must use microscopes to see these cells at their actual size, but creating a model of human cells can help bring the science to life. Use Jell-O to create such a model and students will have an edible version of their own cells.
Mix the gelatin or Jell-O per the instructions on the box. Add only three-quarters of the water that the recipe calls for to help the Jell-O firm faster, creating a better hold for the cell parts.
Pour the cooling gelatin into a sealable plastic bag. The bag must be large enough to hold the Jell-O, as well as the parts of the cell that you will add later.
Compress the bag to let most of the air out and seal the bag. Place the bag in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes to allow the gelatin to partially harden. Do not let the gelatin harden completely, or you will not be able to add the other cell parts.
Remove the gelatin from the refrigerator and open the bag. Insert small pieces of candy and fruit into the gelatin to represent the cell’s internal parts, such as the nucleus, mitochondria and ribosomes.
Reseal the plastic bag and place it back in the refrigerator. The gelatin will finish hardening around the fruit and candy, creating a solid cell model.
Using lemon Jell-O or gelatin will make your cell easier to see through.