Bede’s pupils build (mainly) edible cells

September 22, 2016

Bede’s Lower Fifth pupils have been getting to grips with cell structure and organelles this week, including by constructing cells for themselves!

To help the students remember the various parts of the cell, each used various foodstuffs and props to build their cells in three dimensions.

Freezer bags (cell membranes), Jaffa cakes (the nucleus), Rice (ribosomes) and jelly babies (mitochondria that release energy) were all topped off with the addition of lashings of diluted jelly (cytoplasm).

Each cell was, of course, assembled with a varying degree of mess!

The trickiest (and messiest) part was the addition of a water filled balloon (representing a permanent vacuole) that the budding biologists had to try and insert into their already bulging cells.

This process helped them to understand the difference between plant and animal cells, with plant cells using the permanent vacuole to create a ‘turgid’ (plump) cell for support purposes, meaning they are able to defy gravity without the use of a skeleton.

The pupils are to be commended for their enthusiasm in the task, and also for not succumbing to the temptation of surreptitiously nibbling on too many of the Jaffa cakes…