By Cole Edgell
Mrs. Spencer’s fifth grade students learned about the parts of a cell and their functions. After learning about what a cell does, they made edible models that show what a cell looks like. They used a sugar cookie base and added different candies to represent each part of a cell. The cell parts are: Cell Membrane, Cytoplasm, Nucleus, Vacuoles, Ribosomes, Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum, Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum, Golgi bodies, and the Mitochondria.
The Cell Membrane controls the transport of substances into and out of the cell. Water and other substances move naturally from high concentration to low concentration across the membrane by passive transport. However, along the membranes there are proteins that act as pumps to move materials from low concentration to high concentration, a process known as active transport. In plant cells, the cell membrane surrounded by a rigid cell wall, helps the cell keep its form and structure.
The Cytoplasm is the fluid of the cell. This is where all the organelles reside and it has the consistency of soft gel. Held together by the cell membrane, the cytoplasm acts as a medium for transportation and giving the cell structure and form.
The Vacuoles are where the food or waste can be stored. They are large fluid sacs within the cell where food or waste can be stored for alter use or disposal. In plant cells, they are larger because plants tend to store larger amounts of food.
Ribosomes are small pieces of protein and RNA, which is similar to DNA but used to transport information to make substances. They are used to make larger molecules such as proteins by transcribing the genetic information in the cell. Ribosomes are relatively small but high in numbers. They attach to the endoplasmic reticulum to produce the proteins.
The Endoplasmic Reticulum, commonly referred to as ER, is a large tubular organelle that produces large molecules in the cell. The ER also stores and transports the materials it produces. There are two types of endoplasmic reticulum. The smooth ER produces molecules of fatty acids, steroids, and lipids. The rough ER produces molecules of proteins. It is rough because ribosomes attach to it with information on protein synthesis, which give the organelle the appearance of being bumpy or rough.
The Golgi Bodies are a series of tubular structures that are interconnected. They surround a substance such as proteins with a membrane, which allows the substance to be transported to a different part of the cell or out of the cell.
The mitochondria is often called the powerhouse of the cell. This is where energy is produced from sugar molecules. They are oval-shaped and have their own membranes, as well as their own DNA inside.
The Nucleus is the center of control in the cell. It contains the DNA of the organism, and this is where the cell gets its directions and information. Encased in the nuclear membrane, DNA will come apart to build proteins and other substances. It is also in charge of reproduction, which leads to cellular division and the replication of new cells. The students had fun making their cells with different types of candy to represent the parts.