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Build an Edible Model of an Animal Cell Using Candy or Pizza Ingredients

Before you start, be sure to review the parts of a cell so you know what each part does. The following interactive animation might help (if you click on the part at the bottom of the box, a description of that part's function will pop up) http://www.cellsalive.com/cells/cell_model.htm

edible candy cell model

   Materials:

cytoplasm: 1 package of flavoured agar or gelatin
cell wall (aka cell membrane): a medium-sized bowl
cell parts:
    nucleus: dried apricot or fuzzy peach candy
    nucleolus: raisin or dried cranberry or runt candy
    mitochondria: Mike & Ike candy or hot tamale or goodies candy-covered licorice
    rough endoplasmic reticulum: twister licorice
    smooth endoplasmic reticulum: shoestring licorice
    lysozomes: gobstopper or gumball
    golgi body: gummy worm
    free ribosomes: candy sprinkles or sesame seeds or poppy seeds
    vacuoles: life savers candy or rockets candy
toothpicks, tape, markers & paper to make signs for the parts

   To make the cell:

    1. Prepare agar or gelatin according to the package and let set in bowl.
    2. Prepare signs as desired.
    3. Arrange cell parts on top of the cell body.
    4. Add signs, take photos.
    5. Eat!

   Alternative Edible Model Cell:

For a pizza cell, use a basic crust (or a large whole-grain pita) as the cell wall and add some of the following toppings (or use your imagination to substitue your favourites):

  • tomato sauce (cytoplasm)
  • sundried tomatoes (halves for the nucleolus or julienne for rough endoplasmic reticulum)
  • mushrooms (try slicing horizontally--these can either be the nucleolus or vacuoles)
  • olives (lysosomes)
  • parmesan cheese (ribosomes)
  • thickly grated cheese (smooth endoplasmic reticulum)
  • sliced green pepper (golgi body, or if sliced thinly, smooth endoplasmic reticulum)
  • a pineapple ring (perhaps for the nucleus with a tomato slice for the nucleolus)
  • pumpkin seeds (ribosomes)
  • pepperoni or veggie pepperoni (vacuoles or nucleolus)
  • roasted zucchini slices (vacuoles or nucleolus)
  • green onion (mitochondria)

For some added inspiration, watch this incredible animation of the inner life of a cell: http://myscienceacademy.org/2013/02/16/the-inner-life-of-a-cell-get-some-perspective/

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