Creating a plant cell model is the perfect science fair project, and it's also a visual tool that will help you understand how the different parts of the cell work together. You can make a plant cell model out of almost any material, but you'll have to use your creativity to figure out which materials will work best for each organelle.
You can use clay to make all the parts of the cell–although you may want to use a stronger and more easily available material such as a cardboard box or recycled strips of carpet–to make the thick cell wall. Use clay in various colors and shapes to create each organelle. For example, create tiny red balls and place them all over the cell to represent ribosomes. Roll thin orange worms, flatten them and cluster them together to create the Golgi apparatus. And line the cell wall with a thin layer of clay to form the plasma membrane. One way to label the parts of the cell is to stick toothpicks into the assorted parts of the cell and wrap a label around the toothpick so that they look like tiny flags.
Make an edible plant cell model. For the cell wall, bake a cake in a large pan and cut out the middle to leave a thick border. Spread frosting on the inside of the wall to represent the plasma membrane. You can recycle some of the cake by covering a chunk of it in black frosting and using it as a vacuole. Another piece of it could represent the nucleus. Then brainstorm ideas for the rest of the organelles using items like cookies, gummy worms, round candies and jelly beans.
Build a plant cell out of recycled materials. For example, use an old carboard box for the cell wall, a jar lid for the nucleus, a wadded-up black plastic shopping bag for the vacuole, old ribbon for the endoplasmic reticulum, and buttons for some of the smaller organelles. Use tags made of folded-over masking tape to label the parts of the cell.
About the Author
Keren (Carrie) Perles is a freelance writer with professional experience in publishing since 2004. Perles has written, edited and developed curriculum for educational publishers. She writes online articles about various topics, mostly about education or parenting, and has been a mother, teacher and tutor for various ages. Perles holds a Bachelor of Arts in English communications from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
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