How to build a model of a human cell

Written by corrie agnew
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There are many different ways to create a model of a human cell, including using edible materials to represent its various parts. Here's an example of how to build a cell model using cake, frosting and candy.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Diagram of an animal cell
  • Box of cake mix
  • Round cake pan
  • Cupcake pan
  • Chocolate frosting
  • White frosting
  • Red food dye
  • Small box of Nerds candy
  • Small box of Runts candy
  • Small box of Gobstoppers candy
  • Bag of Twizzlers Pull N Peel Licorice candy
  • Small bag of Twizzlers liquorice bits candy
  • Small bag of jelly bean candy
  • Pack of Sour Punch Straws candy
  • Small bag of Circus Peanuts candy

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    Preparing the Cell Structure

  1. 1

    Prepare the cake according to the directions on the box. Pour some of the prepared mix into the cupcake pan to make one cupcake. Pour the rest of the mix into the round cake pan. If using small pans, divide the mix between two pans.

  2. 2

    Allow the cake to cool completely. Once cool, turn the round cake upside down so that the top of the cake is flat. Cut the top off the cupcake and set it aside.

  3. 3

    Frost the sides of the round cake with chocolate frosting. This is your cell membrane. If you have two round cakes, put frosting in between so the layers stick together.

  4. 4

    Frost the top of the cake with white frosting. This is your cytoplasm.

  5. 5

    Put 2 tablespoons of white frosting in a bowl and add a couple of drops of red food colouring. Mix it and frost the top of the cupcake. Place the cupcake top in the middle of the cake. This is the nucleus.

    Adding Organelles

  1. 1

    Using the Twizzler Pull N Peels, create the endoplasmic reticulum. This organelle surrounds the nucleus in a series of winding S-shaped curves. Use multiple liquorice strings to mimic this shape. Refer to your cell diagram if you need an example of the shape.

  2. 2

    Sprinkle Nerds candy pieces on both sides of a few of the Twizzler Pull N Peels. This will show the differentiation between the rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum.

  3. 3

    Create the two centrioles by placing two liquorice bits next to each other anywhere in the cytoplasm.

  4. 4

    Place one jelly bean anywhere in the cytoplasm to create the lysosome.

  5. 5

    Use four or five banana Runts to create the Golgi apparatus. They should be placed near the outside of the nucleus. Put them close to each other in a row, all facing in the direction of the nucleus.

  6. 6

    Cut Sour Punch Straws into 12 1.5-inch-long pieces. These will be the microtubules. Scatter them throughout the cytoplasm.

  7. 7

    Put three or four Circus Peanuts on the cake. These represent the mitochondrion.

  8. 8

    Scatter Nerds throughout the cytoplasm. They represent the ribosomes.

  9. 9

    Put one Gobstopper on the cupcake top, slightly off-centre. This is the nucleolus.

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