How to Use Gel for Cytoplasm in a Plant Cell Model

Written by danielle odom
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How to Use Gel for Cytoplasm in a Plant Cell Model
Construct a model of a plant cell for your next science fair experiment. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

A 3-D model of a plant cell is a common, hands-on, middle-school project that can teach children how the parts of a cell relate to one another. One of the largest parts of a plant cell is the Cytosol of the cell. Cytosol is the semi-liquid material that contains all the parts of the cell. Cytoplasm is the collective term for the Cytosol and everything else contained within the cell walls. To create an authentic plant cell model you'll want something thick enough to suspend the key parts.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Clear, 9-by-13 Pyrex cake pan
  • Red cling film
  • Quart-size zipper bag
  • Foam ball
  • Green hair gel (large bottle)
  • Candies
  • Toothpick

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  1. 1

    Wash and dry the cake pan to ensure there is no dirt. The cake pan is representing the cell wall.

  2. 2

    Line the cake pan with red cling film to represent the cell membrane.

  3. 3

    Fill the quart-sized bag with water and place into the cake pan to represent the vacuole. The vacuole stores nutrients and waste products for the cell.

  4. 4

    Place the foam ball beside the vacuole to represent the nucleus. The nucleus holds the cell's DNA.

  5. 5

    Squirt the entire bottle of green hair gel in to the cake pan to fill all the empty space. Smooth the gel so there are no large pockets of air or empty spaces.

  6. 6

    Continue adding candies for the rest of the cell parts. Use a toothpick to push them down into the gel without messing the top up. Be sure they are not all on the bottom of the pan, as the cell parts in the plant cell are "suspended" -- meaning they are not at the top or bottom most part of the cell, but in between.

Tips and warnings

  • Be creative with the use of candies. Cut and mould different ones together to make what you need.
  • The gel may remove the colours of the candies, so do not label them by colour.

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