This was a cute idea I got after my Biology class modeled mitosis with pipe cleaners. I made chromosomes out of the pipe cleaners and hex nuts, and put them in an oblong empty ornament so it looks like a nucleus undergoing mitosis! (In prophase, of course.)
Step 1: Gather Materials
You will need:
- Pink and blue pipe cleaners (having two shades of each color is optional, but it adds variety)
- Hexagonal nuts (at least 4 - I used different colors for the pink and blue chromosomes, but again, that is optional)
- Translucent gift basket shred
- Wire cutters
- Oblong empty ornament (you can use a spherical one, but it works best if it's in the shape of a flattened out orb)
Step 2: Make the Chromosomes
Cut 4 pieces of pink and 4 pieces of blue pipe cleaner to make the chromatids. I cut them to about 1 and a quarter inches each, but the size can vary. Twist the two pieces that you want to be together around each other at the center, then slip a hex nut over it to make the centromere. They should like like the ones in the picture.
Step 3: Stuff the Ornament
Begin stuffing the basket shred into the ornament. It will act as the 'cytoplasm'. This part is a bit tricky, but what I found works best is to stick enough strands (about 10 or so, but it depends on the size) into the ornament, stick a chromosome or two in and work them to the positions that you want them to be, then stuff in a few more strands and add the other two chromosomes. You'll have to experiment with what works best. I used a magnet to move their position through the plastic of the ornament (this may not be the best idea if you're using glass), and tweezers to rotate them.
Step 4: You're Done!
Now you have your very own cellular ornament! They make great Christmas gifts for the biology majors in your life, or your science teacher if you need your grade bumped up at the end of the semester ;)