Hands-on Activity: Cell Membrane Color Sheet and Build a Cell Membrane
Educational Standards :
Pre-Req Knowledge (Return to Contents)
Students should have completed the associated Cell Membrane Structure and Function lesson and have a basic understanding of cell structures and their functions.
Learning Objectives (Return to Contents)
After this activity, students should be able to:
Materials List (Return to Contents)
Each group needs:
To share with the entire class:
Introduction/Motivation (Return to Contents)
Ever wonder why things are arranged as they are? Is there a reason for it or are arrangements, such as cell organelles, just random?
In this activity, you will construct a cell membrane. You will also color-code a schematic of a cell and its organelles. Doing this will help you to understand where things are in a cell and why they are in specific positions.
Cells are the basis unit of life. Chemical and biomedical engineers study cells and their composition as part of designing innovative technologies to advance the medical health industry. However, cells are difficult for us to see, so engineers often build models of cells to better study and understand how their structure and functions are related.
Vocabulary/Definitions (Return to Contents)
Procedure (Return to Contents)
Nanoparticle research has become a focus in the field of biomedical engineering due to its use for drug delivery and other applications. To understand what is happening inside of the cell, students must understand how the particles enter the cell as well as its structure. A model of the cell helps students see how cell membrane structure and function, and also provides the level of detail needed by engineers to facilitate ease of entrance in their designs. First, students use colored pencils to shade in a cell diagram. As they write down the functional part of each organelle, they begin to understand placement and arrangement. Taking this a step further, students construct their own models of cell membranes. These "membrane-pieces" assemble with those from other groups in the class to form a large cell membrane model.
Before the Activity
With the Students
Investigating Questions (Return to Contents)
Assessment (Return to Contents)
Cell Membrane Models: At activity end, grade students on their final cell membrane product.
Additional Multimedia Support (Return to Contents)
Source of Animal Cell Coloring Sheet: http://www.biologycorner.com/worksheets/cellcolor.html
Source of Build-a-Membrane activity: http://teach.genetics.utah.edu/content/begin/cells/
References (Return to Contents)
Dictionary.com. Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. Accessed June 21, 2010. http://www.dictionary.com
ContributorsMelinda M. Higgins, Amber Spolarich
Copyright© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2010 Vanderbilt University
Supporting Program (Return to Contents)VU Bioengineering RET Program, School of Engineering, Vanderbilt University
Acknowledgements (Return to Contents)
The contents of this digital library curriculum were developed under National Science Foundation RET grant nos. 0338092 and 0742871. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.