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Saturday Science: Homemade Animal Cell Cookie

Saturday Science: Homemade Animal Cell Cookie

Today's Saturday Science is brought to you by our science educator, Becky Wolfe! Our Saturday Science: Plant Cell Pizza has become SO popular, we wanted to take it up a notch—this time with an Animal Cell Cookie! 

In this experiment, with just an extra bit of kitchen creativity, you can make an edible animal cell at home! When you're done, give the Plant Cell Pizza a try!

Materials

  • Round cookie such as a sugar cookie or gingerbread cookie
  • Frosting 
  • Licorice 
  • Jelly Beans
  • Sprinkles
  • Fruit leather (like Fruit roll-ups)
  • Small candies such as chocolate chips or smarties
  • Round candy such as a peppermint patty or chocolate kiss

Process

To create your animal cell, you'll need a round cookie. Sugar cookies would be a great option. Decorate your cookie with the cell organelle suggestions below. Be creative—you can always substitute your favorite candies for one of our suggestions!
 

Organelles and suggested candy

  1. Membrane: Every cell has a membrane, which acts as a skin, letting good things in and keeping bad things out. The membrane is made of fats, or lipids, and proteins. Place a strip of licorice around the edge of your cookie for the cell membrane.
  2. Cytoplasm: The cytoplasm is the jelly that surrounds all the organelles in the cell. Frost your cookie to represent the cytoplasm. 
  3. Mitochondria:   Mitochondria are often called the “powerhouse” of the cell. These organelles have their own circular DNA and are the site of aerobic respiration, which produces ATP, the energy your cell needs to survive. These are found throughout the cell. Chocolate chips can represent the mitochondria is the cell.
  4. Golgi Bodies: Golgi bodies are a series of stacked sacs that process and package the lipids and proteins made in the cell. Try jelly beans or gummies. They are often depicted near the nucleus, but can be anywhere in the cell. 
  5. Endoplasmic Reticulum: Or ER, is a series of tubes that carry the lipids and proteins to the cell membrane. They can be rough or smooth. Rough ER has ribosomes on it, and makes proteins and sends them to the golgi bodies for packaging. Tear strips of fruit leather and  make tubes. Make a smooth (without ribosomes) and a rough (with ribosomes). 
  6. Ribosomes: Ribosomes are like little factories that make proteins for the cell.  Ribosomes can be found either free in the cell, or on the rough endoplasmic reticulum. Use something small but colorful to represent ribosomes such as sprinkles or colored sugars. To put your ribosomes in, sprinkle a few around the cell and push them to set them in.
  7. Nucleus: The nucleus is the “control center” for the cell. The nucleus contains the chromosomes, which are made of DNA. DNA is the instruction manual for the cell to make everything the body needs. In most animal cells, the nucleus is near the center. Use something large and round, such as a peppermint
 
Want more Saturday Science? See all of our at-home activities on the blog or on Pinterest.
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Categories: Science
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