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Sixth Graders Display Keen Creativity in Cell Projects

Rudy Brandl

Sixth grade students recently presented their models of the cell and they did not disappoint, coming up with more innovative ways to share their projects. As a treasured teaching tool, this project is a reliable way for W+H students to learn about the functions of the cell organelles. In small groups, students met to research the jobs of each part of the cell and discussed how to represent them in a 3D design in the space of a large shoe box. 

This year there were some new and interesting variations on the items that represented organelles. One project used band-aids to represent the cell membranes as they are thin, flexible and allow only some materials to pass through. Another project used a fidget toy plastic conveyor belt to illustrate the industrious nature of the nucleus making ribosomes, while other groups connected gummy worms and yogurt bite packets (nucleolus) to their contents scattered all over the cytoplasm as protein factory ribosomes. Another new one used a pickle to represent the water filled vacuole. The one that kept the class smiling was the solar powered dancing flowers to represent the chloroplasts. 

Mrs. Andrea Barnett, Middle School science teacher and Science Department Chair, said it’s hard to believe that there are still new ideas out there after so many years of conducting this project. She saluted her students and marveled at the great thinking that came along with these projects.

After the presentations, the students felt very confident about remembering the cell parts. While at first it was all so intimidating, the students enjoyed themselves while learning throughout the project. They discussed the process with Mrs. Barnett and how they could use creativity like this to learn information in all of their classes.