The Dynamic Cell Models enable students to model the cells that they are viewing in the microscope, while they are viewing them. Assembling a model of a cell with their classmates gives students confidence that they are seeing what they are supposed to see. Students focus on what they are supposed to see and not just air bubbles and artifacts.
The components of the kit are the visible components of cells when viewed with a light microscope. Items that cannot be seen because they are too small or too difficult to be stained are not included. However, some items that are themselves too small to be seen (like thylakoids and nuclear pores) but are found within larger, visible structures are included to prevent any misconceptions about cellular structures. All the plastic components of the Dynamic Cell Model Kit are dishwasher safe and durable.
The Dynamic Cell Models can be used to model numerous cell types. In the photo above, an Elodea cell is modeled on a table. In the photo below, a cheek cell is being modeled; this cheek cell has numerous bacteria on it.
Each kit contains enough cellular components to model two cells at the same time. To work with four groups in a classroom, have two groups build models and the other two critique/correct it. For the next two cells, switch the initiating and correcting group.
Incorporating the models into your classroom can change the way you teach the subject of the cell. This can make some teachers uncomfortable, which is not our goal. To help prevent this discomfort, we will soon be posting videos of a variety of ways to use the Dynamic Cell Models in the classroom for your viewing. Once made, we will link to them from here so that you can get ideas of how you might choose to use the models in your classroom.
The products of Cell Zone, Inc., are based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (under grants #0618182 & #0726473). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.