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Building a Clay Model of a Cell

Here are some pix of the clay cell activity. If you want to try this out, you might want to check out the Cell learning tool for an overview of the organelles in a generic animal cell.

First make the organelles, each with it's own colored clay. This image shows the nucleus and endoplasmic reticulum.
organelles


A real cell is much like a fluid sack with smaller objects floating within the liquid. That's tricky to model with clay, in 3D. So, we work from the inside out, adding a layer of white clay to simulate cytoplasm (the liquid within a cell) between each layer of organelles.
assembling the model

Once we have the cell assembled, we can take a cross-section. In this image several organelles are visible.
cross section of the model cell