Science Fair Project - Making a Model Plant Cell Pizza
Making a Pizza Cell
Models are used in science to describe something that is too difficult, dangerous, expensive, large/small to visualise. This is one of my favourite lessons - making a model plant cell out of pizza. Science has never been this delicious!
Not only will kids enjoy making these pizzas, but they should learn some solid science at the same time. Check out the expected learning outcomes below to see what should be learnt in this project.
- 1 Ready-made Pizza Base, You can roll your own base, but this will add to the prep time
- 125g Orange Cheese
- 125g White Cheese
- 80g Tomato Puree
- 6 Green Olives
- 1 Cherry Tomato/Red or Orange Pepper
- Sprinkle Oregano
Before you start the preparation, set your oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas Mark 6/Fairly hot). You will also need:
- 1 sharp knife (be careful!)
- 1 chopping board
- 1 baking tray
- Oven Gloves
- 1 Cheese grater
If doing this with children, remind them to wash their hands before and after preparing food.
Visual Step-by-StepClick thumbnail to view full-size
- Cut the pizza into a rounded-oblong shape (Children take care with sharp knives)
- Squeeze the tube of tomato puree to make a line around the edge of the pizza
- Grate the orange cheese and pile it around the edge of the pizza base
- Grate the white cheese and pile it into the middle of the pizza base
- Put the olives evenly around the edge on the orange cheese (or place sliced peppers around the cheese)
- Put one cherry tomato on the orange cheese (Red peppers can be used if preferred)
- Put the pizza onto a baking sheet and put it into a preheated oven for about 12 minutes
- Remove the cooked pizza from the oven. Sprinkle with oregano
Questions to Ask
- Does the pizza model look like a plant cell?
- What does each part of the pizza model represent?
- Are all the main parts of the plant cell present in this pizza model?
- Is this a perfect model for a plant cell?
- Suggest some improvements to the pizza model
- It depends!
- Olives = Chloroplasts; White cheese = vacuole; orange cheese = cytoplasm; pepper/tomato = nucleus; pizza crust = cell wall; tomato sauce at edge = cell membrane
- No - missing mitochondria
- No - it is only 2D whereas plant cells are 3D
- Could add something roughly the size of the olives to show mitochondria (mushrooms or small sausage slices)
Lower Ability pupils will be able to associate the different ingredients with the different parts of the plant cell. They should therefore enhance their knowledge of the structure of plant cells.
Higher ability pupils should also recognise that this is an imperfect model and suggest possible improvements to the recipe.
Very High ability pupils should be able to create a different edible model for a plant cell and an animal cell