The Cell Project

The Cell Project is a growing and evolving set of on-screen learning tools and hands-on activities focused on the cell.

The online learning tool

With the online learning tool, the student can explore both animal and plant cells by moving the mouse over the different parts of the cell.

Cell Explore

There are currently two challenge-activities in the online learning tool. In the build-a-cell activity, a menu of organelles are provided and the student drags them to the cell.

There is opportunity to make mistakes. For example, if the student clicks on "check cell" and the cell is incomplete, they get a message saying "something is missing". If the student drags a chloroplast to build an animal cell, when they click "check cell" they get a message saying "Something doesn't belong here".

In the quiz, the student is asked to click on the organelles when presented. The student gets immediate feedback: "correct!" or "try again".

Cell Build

The Clay Cell activity & flickr group

In the Clay Cell activity, students build 3-d models of cells, organelle by organelle. Once the clay dries, the cells are sliced and the resulting cross-sections are examined. This is a great hands-on activity!

Clay Model Cell Cross Section

Have you, or your students, built model cells? We've set up a group on Flickr, for sharing photos of cell models. Join us!

The Cell Project Flickr Group


History of the project:

The Cell Project began as part of Frances Segal's internship at GalaxyGoo, and as part of her Master's thesis. Ms Segal collaborated with middle-school teachers and GalaxyGoo developers to develop a learning tool focused on the life sciences for 7th grade students.

Since then, the project has grown and developed into an expanding set of activities focused on learning about the basic unit of biology: the cell.

In February of 2007, GalaxyGoo took the Clay Cell activity to the Family Science Days (a family-focused event during the 2007 national meeting of AAAS).