Project: Cell Factory Analogy



   Picture in your mind a cookie manufacturing plant:  It has doors, walls, windows, a roof and is filled with specialized equipment.  It must move raw materials in, and move products and wastes out. There are many specialized pieces of equipment needed to mix, shape, bake, package and move the final product out the doors. It requires much energy and organization to accomplish this process.

   Cells produce many different kind of molecules, but proteins are the most import and abundant molecules produce in a cell. In this activity, you are asked to complete the analogy between cell organelles and a cookie factory by:

1. matching the parts of the cookie factory with the correct cell organelle

2. drawing a cookie factory and labeling the parts.



Day 1    Match the parts of the cookie factory with the cell organelle listed below.

            ___Jars that store sugar and other ingredients

            ___Packages/bags that store finished cookies

            ___Specialized trash cans that break down waste and broken equipment

            ___Mixing bowls and ovens where cookies are made

            ___Drawers for storing cookie cutters/templates for cookie shapes

            ___Cookie cutters/templates

            ___An air atmosphere in the factory

            ___Plastic sheets/vapor barriers on inside of exterior walls of factory

            ___Conveyer belts that transport cookie cutters, cookies, and plastic sheets


            ___ A special machine that can make gasoline from CO2 and sunlight

___Gasoline-powered electric generator to create the energy (electricity) to run lights and      machines

___ Very rigid exterior walls so the plant can withstand tornados

            ___Sugar, flour, salt and other ingredients

            ___Tool that can modify the final shape of the cookie and then package them


            A. Proteins            I. Amino Acids

            B. Plasma Membrane       J. Golgi apparatus

            C. Nucleus             K. DNA/chromosomes

            D. Vacuoles            L. Cytoplasm

            E. Mitochondria (my-toe-con-dree-a)             M. Vesicles

            F. Ribosomes  (RYE-bow-soems) N. Lysosome

            G. Endoplasmic Reticulum (end-doe-PLAZ-mick  re-TICK-cue-lum)

            H. Cell wall      O. Chloroplasts


Day 1 (Continued)  Each student will sketch a diagram of a cookie factory, on the bottom of this sheet, using all of the parts listed above.  Bring your sketch to class tomorrow and work with one other student to complete a poster.


Day 2  Each group of two students will draw a poster of their cookie factory analogy. You must label each structure in the factory and list its cellular counterpart. Attach your sketch and evaluation form to the poster.


Evaluation: This project is worth 22 points as indicated below:




Possible points

Your points

Your poster reflects attention to detail and shows complexity

5 points


Your poster is creative and visually effective

5 points


You match factory structures with correct organelle

5 points



2 points


Class participation

5 points


Total points

22 points