Cell Structure and Function: The Cellular Factory

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Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the second of four Science Objects in the Cell Structure and Function SciPack. It explores the various organelles within a cell and each organelle’s function. Every cell is surrounded by a membrane that separates it from the outside world. This membrane controls what can enter and leave the cell. Inside cells exists a variety of specialized molecular structures (organelles) that carry out such functions as energy production, transport of molecules, waste disposal, synthesis of new molecules, and the storage of genetic material. All these molecular structures function as a coordinated system that works in a delicate balance of chemical and physical reactions. In addition, most cells of multi-cellular organisms perform some special functions that other cells do not.

  • Elementary
  • Middle

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Reviews (13)
  • on Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:57 PM

Great Graphics and visuals


  • on Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:22 PM

Lots and lots of information describing the form and function of each of the parts of plant and animal cells. I need to watch this one a couple of times.

Robin Willig  (Rye Brook, NY)
Robin Willig (Rye Brook, NY)

  • on Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:56 PM

I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Cell Structure and Function: The Cellular Factory will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are really beneficial!

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:47 AM

Works great with the Cells as a candy factory journal article

Tory Addison  (Winter Haven, FL)
Tory Addison (Winter Haven, FL)

  • on Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:59 PM

Great presentation of the truth within the cell.

Ronaldo Relador  (Bowie, MD)
Ronaldo Relador (Bowie, MD)

  • on Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:26 AM

What a wonderful exploration of the organelles within plant and animal cells. The visual representations work synergistically with the text to enable the viewer to obtain a better understanding of the functions of various structures (organelles) within the cell. From the mitochondria (powerhouse of the cell) to the ribosomes (protein synthesis organelle), the information presented was done in such a way that even the most apprehensive of learners would find it enjoyable.

Lorrie Armfield  (Laurel, MD)
Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD)

  • on Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:57 AM

This Science object is filled with pictures, diagrams and hands-on activities that can help you to prepare to teach about cells. It was interesting to read about research based student misconceptions as I was completing the object. I also enjoy seeing the hands-on investigations, such as the egg in vinegar, and the connection of the object content to the activity.

Angelika Fairweather  (Bradenton, FL)
Angelika Fairweather (Bradenton, FL)

  • on Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:24 AM

This is multi-intelligence learning making the learner absorb knowledge and skills faster and more effective.

Ronaldo Relador
Ronaldo Relador

  • on Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:29 PM

Great for identify the basic structures within cells and their roles in the overall functioning of the cell. The students really enjoyed this!

Tory Addison  (Winter Haven, FL)
Tory Addison (Winter Haven, FL)

  • on Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:37 PM

This series is well organized and explained. It covers enough details for upper level students and not too much for lower level students. Good resource to refresh how you teach the topic. The quiz answer check didn't always work and it wasn't clear which was the right answer for a few answer boxes.


  • on Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:27 PM

I had my students perform a transcription/translation skit last year. After having reviewed this science object I realize that the actors and actresses (my students) performed admirably well. The information I uncovered in this science object will help me immeasureably in making this topic even more exciting and FUN for my students. My only wish is that I could get an Angel to buy 30 IPADS and subscriptions so that my students and I could truly share this experience!

Duane Little  (Washington, DC)
Duane Little (Washington, DC)

  • on Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:11 PM

Solid review of eukaryotic cell specialization and organelles. The organelles were presented in a different order than I have seen previously, but it connects very well. It may be beneficial for a little more detailed review in similarities and differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells in this science object. The interactive at the end provides a few different ways to check for understanding on organelles and plant versus animal cells.


  • on Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:43 AM

These 8 pages of content may be a good substitute for reading content that may be in a textbook, but they are not inquiry-based learning. Reading the information helped me to learn more about the cell, but then again, I like reading textbbok content. I would bookmark the site for students to use as a resource; however, it would probably be easier to have students read from an informational book or from textbooks, unless we had computers available for easy use in the classroom.

Christina B
Christina B

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