Episode 11 – A Yummy Cell Snack
First, you will need to download the A Yummy Cell Snack lab manual.
Cells, cells, they are made of organelles. Organelles are small, functioning machinery within our cells that perform specific functions. Imagine that. Those tiny structures that make up our entire bodies essentially have organs of their own? Wow. What do these organelles do? Why are they important?
There are many kinds of specialized organelles in our human cells, also known as animal cells. We share some of these organelles with plants, however, they also have additional organelles that help them to create energy through photosynthesis or remain structurally sound. Our activity today will showcase these differences and highlight similarities between plant and animal cells as we explore cellular processes using FOOD! That’s right, we will be making an edible cell model.
While we will make large scale versions of cells in this activity, we cannot truly view our cells without the use of a microscope. Thanks to Robert Hooke who enhanced the existing design of the compound microscope in 1665, the term ‘cells’ was coined as Hooke observed pores in a piece of cork. Later, however, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was able to perfect the design of the compound microscope to be similar to what is used today. With this, he was able to see living organisms and magnify them to be 200 to 300 times their size, according to National Geographic! Without these discoveries, we would not be able to study and understand the nearly 30 trillion, or 30,000,000,000,000 cells that are in our bodies.
Saskatchewan Curriculum Connections:
CS8.1: Analyze the characteristics of cells, and compare structural and functional characteristics of plant and animal cells (g, h).