Celebrate Cells

Created by:
Fran Pijor
Diocese of Orange

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UCI Summer Science Institute WebQuests - 2001

UCI Science WebQuests from all years


  • Students will explore and investigate plant and animal cells and some unicellular organisms using internet resources.
  • Students will identify key cell organelles and know their functions.
  • Students will be introduced to and investigate one type of cell division process, mitosis.

  • A computer with Internet access, the necessary plug-ins installed for the interactive activities, and a printer will be needed.
  • You will need the items to complete the discovery tasks and labs. (See the materials list for each lab activity.)
  • Have pencil, paper, and science notebooks ready at all times.


Cells are the basic building blocks for biotic substances.  Cells contain small structures called organelles allowing them to get and use energy,
grow and develop, eliminate waste, respond to changes, and reproduce.  All living cells whether animal, plant, fungi, protist, or bacteria, must 
be able to perform these life processes.  Therefore, similarities and differences exist in the composition of these cells.

Grab your pencil, paper, and science notebook and also visit these sites to continue learning more about organelles and cells.  As you explore
collect more data in your science notebook to assist you in creating a challenging puzzle.
  • BrainPop - Be certain to check out the Cell Movie,  Activity Page, Tune in with Cassie & Rita, and Experiment with Bob the Ex-labrat.
  • Life Science Connection - Explore the plant and animal cells, but don't miss the bacteria, protist, and fungi safaris.
    • EXTRA CREDIT: In your science notebook make a drawing of the gumbolimbo tree that resembles the photograph

    • after you successfully complete the expedition (self-test).
  • Animal Cell - Be certain to click on the plants and animal cell link for tons of great information.
  • Animal and Plant Cells - Here you'll have an opportunity to manipulate a virtual microscope.
  • Cells Alive - Select Plant Cell in the menu to start and don't stop until you've toured the plant, animal, and bacterium cell.
PUZZLE:  Using your science notes and the Internet data in teams of two, create your CRISS-CROSS  PUZZLE .  GOOD LUCK!
  1. Incorporate 20-25 terms and/or facts.
  2. Print 3 copies.
  3. Submit one blank puzzle and one completed copy as the answer key.
  4. Exchange the third copy with another 2-member team.  Try your hand at their puzzle and submit it when completed. 


Cells are microscopic and most can only be seen through the use of a microscope.  Now that you're familiar with many of a cell's organelles, 
you are about to take a tour of a virtual cell
  1. In your science notebook, entitled Virtual Cell, write five discoveries you made about cells on your journey.
  2. Your turn to make a 3-D model of a plant cell.  Be creative, bring other organelle materials.  (Don't forget teacher authorization.)
  3. Now you have the opportunity to create a cell model to wear!  (See teacher for Cell T-shirt Project instruction sheet.)
  4. In your science notebook, entitled Diagram of a Typical Plant Cell, record your answers #1-15.
    1. EXTRA CREDIT:  Visit the Java Based Tutorial at this site, then in your science notebook number #1-11, identify

    2. each organelle, and finally match it to its special fact.  (Oops, no #8!)

      SPECIAL FACTS:  *contains m-DNA and ribosomes     *interior membranes are surrounded by atoms
      *not a membrane bound organelle     *major component is most abundant organic compound     *filled with cell sap
      *semi-fluid substance     *semi-permeable membrane     *no additional info given     *contains nuclear pores
      *coin-like stacks of thylakoid membranes


 As most cells grow and develop they eventually reach a point of reproducing.  Using a division process called mitosis, cells go through five
different stages.  Explore these five phases when you click here for the  Cell Cycle and Mitosis Tutorial
  1. Obtain a copy of the Onion Root Tip activity  sheet from your teacher.
  2. As you explore the tutorial, compare and combine information with your science notes. 
  3. To begin the Onion Root Tip Project click on the phase image and place it under the phase title where you believe it belongs.
  4. Submit your activity sheet with a graph illustrating your results concerning the time spent on different phases of the cell cycle.



  • CELL THEORY RAP - If memorizing is tough to do, try a RAP; its up to you!  Here's a sample so you can start, just add on to show

  • your smarts.  *** Listen close to the story I tell:  it's the rapping story of a living cell.  It's a happy tune that's
    sort of cheery, about a real tough topic called cell theory. ***  Around the cell, you'll find a "skin."  This
    cellular membrane holds the whole cell in.  But its job isn't simple, there's no doubt, it lets some things in
    and some things out. ***
  • ALIEN CELL GAME - Destroy alien cells that have invaded your body before they undergo mitosis.  Use the arrow keys to move

  • your microscopic ship.  Read the instructions for the game for helpful hints.


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E-Mail: fp1j0r@msn.com
August 16, 2001

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