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Cell Project Ideas

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Use this article to find ideas for fun cell projects. You'll find directions and lists of supplies for these projects. You can also learn about some additional educational resources dealing with the science of cells.

The Analogy Cell

This project is a great way for students to work on explaining the different parts of a cell.

Materials:

  • Poster board
  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Scissors
  • Paste
  • Markers

What to Do:

First, your students will need to decide if they're focusing on plant or animal cells. Once they decide, they will need to research the structures of each cell. Have students determine what function each of these structures serves. Next, students will need to find some kind of larger object that performs the same function in their day-to-day life. For example, a chloroplast is similar to a restaurant in that it gathers raw materials and uses them to produce food we can eat. Use newspapers or magazines to locate and cut out pictures that correspond to these real-world objects.

Students complete this project by drawing their cell on their poster board and including the structures they found analogies for. They should then paste pictures of the objects they found around the cell, including an explanation on how these objects are like the cell part they are analogous to.

Educational Tip:

This chapter on the parts of cells can help students review what they need to know before they begin this project. These video lessons are short and easy to understand, allowing students to brush up on the functions of different parts of cells.

3-D Cell Model

This fun project lets students create a cell model of their own!

Supplies

Students can pick what supplies will work best for their model. Options could include:

  • Styrofoam
  • Cardboard
  • Clay
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Bubble wrap

Directions:

This project gives students a lot of creativity to design their cell the way they'd like. Have them pick either a plant or an animal cell. The rest is up to them! You can make suggestions about the materials they use. Styrofoam and clay work great, but what about using bubble wrap for a cell membrane and pipe cleaners for cilia? Whatever your students decide, the model should be large enough for everyone to see and the parts should be clearly labeled, either on the model or on a separate diagram.

Educational Tip:

Students can support their project with the information in this chapter on cell biology. They can find engaging information about parts of the cell and how they work together. Students can also communicate with instructors to get answers to questions while they work on their project independently.

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