Fiona came home excited about a school assignment a week or so ago. A biology project, she had to create a 3-D model of a cell. After doing some brainstorming, she decided that she wanted it to be a baking project. Fiona loves to bake, and she's become very interested in science, so I was really looking forward to seeing what she'd come up with.
Because it's been years since I looked at a plant cell (and because it was her project and not mine), the only role I had was to remind my daughter to give herself enough time to complete it. After doing that, I watched Fiona work her magic from a distance.
Deciding to create a plant cell, Fiona made a list of the cell parts she needed to include. Then, she made a list of the ingredients and supplies she would need and got to work. Once the gluten-free baking and 3-D model creating were complete, Fiona added a written report. The information about the cell parts and their functions came from Fiona's biology textbook and from biology-online.org.
o Nucleus: green Jello
· Function: contains the genetic material, in the form of multiple linear DNA molecul
es organized into structures called chromos omes
o Nucleolus: pink Starburst
· Function: involved with ribosomal RNA synthesis and formation of ribosomes in eukaryotes
o Cell Membrane: Airheads Stripe Strips
· Function: protective barrier between the cytoplasm and the outside of the cell
o Cell Wall: orange icing
· Function: very essential in plants as it helps resist osmotic pressure
o Cytoplasm: green frosting
· Function: where the functions for cell
expansion, growth, metabolism, and replication are carried out
o Vacuole: blue Jello
· Function: includes intracellular secreti
on, excretion, storage, and digestion
o Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum: Twizzlers with sprinkles
· Function: synthesize membrane-bound proteins destin
ed for sorting
o Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum: Mike and Ike
· Function:lipid synthesis, carb
ohydrate metabolism, calcium concentration, drug detoxification, and attachment of receptors on cell membrane proteins
o Ribosomes: sprinkles
· Function: free ribosomes are involved in the synthesis of proteins that will function in the cytosol while bound ribosomes in the synthesis of proteins that are to be exported or used within the cell membrane
o Golgi Apparatus: yellow icing
· Function: involved in glycosylation (i.e. adding carbohydrate to a protein), packaging of molecules like proteins into vesicles for secretion, transport of lipids around the cell, and the creation of lysosomes
o Mitochondria: red Airheads Soft Filled and Twizzlers
· Function: They produce large amounts of energy through oxidative phosphorylation of organic mol
ecules during cellular respiration
o Chloroplasts: green Airheads Soft Filled with green frosting
· Function: consists of disk-shaped structures called thylakoids that function in photosynthesis
I think the finished project looked great!
Fiona gave herself more than enough time to complete the project and was actually able to turn in her work ahead of time. I'm so proud of her academic skills as well as how much she is learning.
Fiona reads a lot. She always has. Whenever she comes across anything remotely related to Ronan (See that mitochondria up there? Yeah, she knows a thing or two about those in a human cell...), she reads and reads and reads all that she can about it. The more reading she does, the more curious she gets. I love that she is curious about science and that science is exciting to her. Once I was done with school, I had no desire to continue to study science. I know Fiona has a different outlook on the subject, and I have a feeling that she'll remain excited to learn more about it.
Fiona's a great kid, a good student, a fantastic sister, and a pretty amazing daughter. Not every day is easy (thank you, teenage years!), but she's happily teaching me a thing or two about life, including reminding me of what a plant cell looks like.