Introduction: Build a Model of a Human Cell

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In this project we will be making a model of a Animal (Human) cell and talking about the various structures within an animal cell. I made my cell out of just cardboard and paper, but you can use anything you have around the house to make your cell. Things like bits of fabric, buttons, and pipe cleaners could all be used.


A cardboard circle. I took a cardboard box and traced a plate on it to get my circle shape.



Colored Pencils

Glue (I used a glue stick, but forgot to include it in my picture.)

Step 1: Create Your Nucleus.

The first thing you’ll want to draw is a circle to be the Nucleolus for your cell. Then you’ll draw a bigger circle around that. This bigger circle is the Nucleus. The Nucleus of a cell has 2 main functions, it contains all the DNA of the cell and functions as a “brain” for the cell. The Nucleolus is the smaller circle within the nucleus, and it’s where Ribosomes are made. Ribosomes will be discussed in a later step.

Step 2: Create Your Endoplasmic Reticulum

The Endoplasmic Reticulum is connected to the nucleus by the Nuclear Membrane. Because of this you’ll want to start by drawing a circle to fit around your nucleus, before drawing the rest of the cisternae. Endoplasmic reticulum may be either rough or smooth, and both serve different functions. Rough endoplasmic reticulum has Ribosomes bound to it and helps modify and transport the proteins made by those ribosomes. Smooth endoplasmic reticulum modifies lipids.

Step 3: Create the Golgi Apparatus

The Golgi Apparatus is made of cisternae much like the Endoplasmic Reticulum, but the cisternae are not interconnected. The golgi apparatus’ job is to take in molecules produced by the cell, make any modifications, and then package them into Vesicles. These vesicles can then ship the proteins either within the cell itself, or can send the proteins outside the cell.

Step 4: Create Your Ribosomes.

Ribosomes are small organelles made of RNA. The way I made mine was to first make a square, before cutting the square in smaller and smaller bits of paper. I then glued these bits where they were needed. Make sure you glue some onto your endoplasmic reticulum, and to also glue them around the rest of your cell. Ribosomes help with protein synthesis (making proteins) within the cell.

Step 5: Create Your Mitochondria.

Mitochondria are larger organelles with an inner and outer membrane, and they also have their own DNA.

Mitochondria are where oxygen and glucose are taken into the cell, before being converted into energy.

Step 6: Create Your Cell Membrane

The Cell Membrane is the outer edge of the cell and forms the cell’s boundary. To create cell membrane I first traced my entire cell onto a sheet of paper. I then colored around the edge, before cutting the whole thing out. I then folded the paper in half and cut out another circle. You can then glue down the outer circle to form your membrane.

Step 7: Create Your Vacuole

Vacuoles are small pockets formed by a membrane layer. They contain the gas and fluids found in cells, such as oxygen or water.

Step 8: Futher Information and Learning