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Calling MB or any other Science teachers please

(25 Posts)
janeite Wed 01-Oct-08 17:43:58

DD2 has to make a model of a cell for her homework. She has had the bright idea of doing it as a cake, with icing representing the different sections. Would you be pleased/appalled or bewildered if one of your students did this? Clearly the teacher wouldn't be able to use it for display purposes!

janeite Wed 01-Oct-08 18:23:48

Oh dear: do I have to tell her it's too mad an idea? This is the first thing she's been really, really enthused about since beginning Yr 7 this term.

TheFallenMadonna Wed 01-Oct-08 18:27:42

Well - I like my model cells to be properly 3D. So with the nucleus inside and what have you. So if she's planning to ice a diagram of a cellon top of a cake I would have to say no. But I had a pupil make an edible 3D cell once and I thought it was fab. So it depends on her plan really.

Tolalola Wed 01-Oct-08 18:28:28

Hmm... am a univ. bio lecturer, not secondary school, but personally i'd be ecstatic if any of mine showed that much effort/initiative/creativity.

southeastastra Wed 01-Oct-08 18:29:51

make a jelly with a malteser in it!

though i'm not a science teacher just nosing in your thread

Slouchy Wed 01-Oct-08 18:29:52

Would jelly be better?

Blandmum Wed 01-Oct-08 18:31:01


I love this.

Don't do it as a cake. better to do the following.

Large seethrough platic bag
Wallpaper paste
Ping pong ball coloured black
(for a plant cell only
a cardboard box to put the whole thing in,
Some green bits of paper)

Mix the paste, fill the bag. Bung everything in.

Bag = cell membrane
Ping pong ball+ nucleus
Paste = cytoplasm
glitter, chemical reactions happeneing in the cytoplasm

plants cells only green stuff= chloroplasts for photosynthesis

Box = cell wall

For extra brownie points she can explain that the plastic bag is impermiable, whereas the cell memebrane is partially permiable

This model also sloshes aroubf a bit, and the stuff inside a cell does move

TheFallenMadonna Wed 01-Oct-08 18:31:06

I do see a lot of jelly!

Tolalola Wed 01-Oct-08 18:31:09

3D part would be ok by me as long as cake was a semi-sphere with flat side as interior, iyswim

TheFallenMadonna Wed 01-Oct-08 18:33:22

Well, yes. But I do like to see some indication that the organelles are also 3D IYSWIM.

Using fondant icing (is that what I mean - the thick stuff you can by ready made anyway) would be good. You could model with it. Embed it in the cake.

bluesushicat Wed 01-Oct-08 18:33:26

I would agree that if it's just iced on the top then it's not really a 3D model. I've had a child make a fab one out of jelly before with different bits in as the organelles and you can always take a photo of it for display purposes.

janeite Wed 01-Oct-08 18:39:04

Thank you all!

Most of her friends are doing it as you describe MB and she wanted to do something different. They've been given pretty much free-rein and told it can be 2 or 3 dimensional. She wants to do a plant cell, she says.

How would differently coloured fairy cakes inside a clear plastic tub work do you think?

Tolalola - sorry, I am being dim; please can you explain your idea a bit more?

Blandmum Wed 01-Oct-08 18:40:23

No cytoplasm.

She would also need a bag inside the box, as plant cells have both a cell membrane and a cell wall

TheFallenMadonna Wed 01-Oct-08 18:41:25

Green cakes for chloroplasts etc? I see where she's going. But what about the cytoplasm?

janeite Wed 01-Oct-08 18:41:39

Agh - sorry - please tell me more - but very slowly and in words of one syllable.

TheFallenMadonna Wed 01-Oct-08 18:42:14

x post with MB. Gotta have the cytoplasm grin

Blandmum Wed 01-Oct-08 18:45:03

The runny stuff! It is where lots of reactions take place inside a cell.

In actuall fact the cell is much more complex, mindblowingly, astonishingly so

look at this for an A level version

Blows my mind each time I watch it. Obviously a computer animation, but scientifically accurate, even the 'walking man'

Tolalola Wed 01-Oct-08 18:46:08

ok, imagine an orange cut in half, resting on the rounded end. rounded (peel) part could be the cell wall/membrane. gooey icing on flat surface could be cytoplasm with 3D (marzipan?) organelles embedded.

janeite Wed 01-Oct-08 18:47:44

Agh - ok - so maybe little bits of green cellophane around the fairy cakes? She's only Yr 7 and the teacher says she just wants the "main bits" as it were.

Please help me find a way to get this to work, as she is very excited about her idea!

Got to go out now but thanks for all the help so far and feel free to keep it coming!

Blandmum Wed 01-Oct-08 19:34:24

If she wants it edible

Do it with Jelly.

Pour some in a large tupperware box and let it set.

Submerge some licorish for the nucleus....cluster it together. Angelica for the chloroplasts, and a pealed apple for the cebtral vacuole (hwo could I have fogotten that!)

janeite Wed 01-Oct-08 21:25:40

Thanks. Angelica isn't edible; it's horrible!

Will tell her about the jelly.

SqueakyPop Wed 01-Oct-08 21:32:32

One of my colleagues made pizza with her year 7 class the other week. An olive for the nucleus, etc.

janeite Wed 01-Oct-08 21:36:01

Great - that would work too; the teacher said 2d would be fine.

Blandmum Wed 01-Oct-08 21:38:04

peas for chloroplasts.

some ham for the large central vacuole

janeite Wed 01-Oct-08 22:08:24

Thanks MB. Do you have a link to a fairly basic diagram please? There are so many in google and they all seem slightly different! I think the one they've seen at school must have been the "bare minimum bits" as it were.

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