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Seventh-grade students in Kathleen Harris’s science classroom at South Brunswick Middle School have been studying cell structure and functions of each organelle. As a culminating hands-on extension to this unit, students used everyday materials to construct a large-scale model of the individual aspects of a cell.
After comprehensive planning and design, students got their hands dirty using paper mache, balloons, wire, foam and plastic to make something invisible to the naked eye large enough to fill a classroom.
Imagine mitochondria the size of 2-liter bottles and a nucleus larger than a car tire. These organelles all fit inside a transparent plastic cell wall inflated to fill room 804 at the school. Dramatic lighting and student-created brochures complete the experience. As seventh-grade student and budding scientist Lilah Foster explained, “Building the cell was hands-on and created a more rich learning environment.”
Harris’s students guided students of all grade levels through the cell model through March 6.